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Luxembourg win in Azerbaijan to edge race for third in Ireland's group

The result means Stephen Kenny’s side need at least a draw against Portugal tonight to avoid finishing behind Luxembourg.

Gerson Rodrigues, whose late goal inflicted a damaging defeat on Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, scored twice tonight.
Gerson Rodrigues, whose late goal inflicted a damaging defeat on Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, scored twice tonight.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

LUXEMBOURG HAVE EARNED an impressive 3-1 away win over Azerbaijan in the early game in the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualifying pool, meaning they tighten their grip on third place in Group A.

All four goals came in the second half, after Azerbaijan were reduced to 10 men in the 21st minute after Tellur Mutallimov saw red. Gerson Rodrigues put the visitors in front on 67 minutes, before Sebastien Thill doubled their lead on 78. Azer Salahli pulled one back four minutes later, but Rodrigues sealed the victory in injury time.

That same Rodrigues stunned the Aviva Stadium back in March, his late goal coming as a massive blow to Stephen Kenny’s Ireland.

Tonight’s result in Azerbaijan means Kenny’s side need at least a draw against Portugal to avoid finishing behind Luxembourg in the table, in fourth place.

It’s currently 0-0 at a packed Lansdowne Road (follow our liveblog here>) while the Boys In Green travel to face Luxembourg on Sunday [KO 7.45pm, Stade de Luxembourg].

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