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Jones: Wales left heartbroken

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 By Tom Marshall

Mexico lacks spark in draw vs. Wales but avoids injuries ahead of World Cup

Jesus Corona fights off Aaron Ramsey and Ben Davies during Mexico's friendly vs. Wales.
Jesus Corona was one of just two presumptive starters for Mexico at the World Cup in Monday's friendly draw vs. Wales.

LOS ANGELES -- Three quick thoughts from Mexico's 0-0 friendly draw with Wales on Monday at the Rose Bowl, in their U.S. farewell game in preparation for the World Cup.

1. Mexico fails to find spark but avoids injuries

This was a Mexico side with only two assured starters -- Javier Hernandez and Hector Herrera -- in Russia. And that showed at times against a Wales side that is starting to adapt to Ryan Giggs and began the game in a 4-4-1-1 formation.

Mexico had the better chances, and...

Wales give Ryan Giggs chance to show why he thinks he deserves the top jobs

With Ryan Giggs in the running for the Wales job, Stevie Nicol and Mark Donaldson debate whether he can be as good of a coach as he was a player.

Ryan Giggs believed he had a genuine chance of managing Manchester United when they sacked Louis van Gaal in May 2016.

After all, the Old Trafford icon had spent three years on the United backroom staff, initially under David Moyes and then Van Gaal, supposedly preparing for the day he would take charge after learning the ropes the old-fashioned way.

But when the moment came, United instead turned to the experience and gold-plated CV of Jose Mourinho, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward regarding...

 By Chris Jones

I can't quite believe it: Coming to terms with Wales' World Cup failure

Wales blew their chance to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

ON THE TRAIN FROM CARDIFF TO LONDON -- We've just stopped in Newport, not far from the border now. It's raining a little harder than a drizzle. The quiet carriage is especially quiet. The conductor just announced that the next stop is Bristol Parkway in 20 minutes. England ahead. Wales behind.

I didn't really sleep last night. I'm not sure I've taken a sporting defeat as badly as I'm taking Monday night's Welsh loss to Ireland in World Cup qualifying. It would be too strong to say I'm in mourning....

 By Chris Jones

Wales left heartbroken after failing to qualify for 2018 World Cup

It was a night to forget for Ashley Williams and Wales.

CARDIFF, Wales -- The Welsh players, seeking comfort in superstition and song, had asked their FA to cut their anthem short, the way the home Georgians had accidentally ended "Land of My Fathers" after the first verse before their match last week.

That night in Tbilisi, the 2,000 traveling supporters finished the anthem on their own, and the Welsh went on to win to keep their World Cup qualification hopes alive. So it was that on Monday night at Cardiff City Stadium, before Wales and Ireland met...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Ireland beat Gareth Bale-less Wales, book World Cup playoff spot

Republic of Ireland players celebrate their lone goal against Wales.
Ireland grabbed a victory in Cardiff to keep their World Cup dreams alive at Wales' expense.

CARDIFF, Wales -- Three points from a dramatic game in Group D as Ireland eliminated Wales from playoff contention in World Cup qualifying.

1. McClean cracker puts Ireland in the playoffs

Wales' wait goes on. They have not played at a World Cup finals since 1958 and thanks to Monday's 1-0 defeat, Ireland will take their place in the playoffs instead, their hopes of making Russia their first finals since 2002 still very much alive. James McClean's 57th minute goal, a singular moment of quality...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Wales, Republic of Ireland match up evenly for crucial World Cup qualifier

CARDIFF -- Wales vs. Republic of Ireland is bound to be full of passion and no little aggression, while there is bad blood between the two teams. The winner of this Group D qualifier will qualify for the World Cup playoffs, while Wales could get in with a draw.

ESPN FC examines the two teams ahead of Monday's match.

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Republic of IrelandRepublic of Ireland
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Goalkeeper

Wayne Hennessey is probably glad to be taking a break from Crystal Palace's wreck of a season and has been Wales' first choice for much of the past decade, a crucial member...