THE Republic of Ireland were drawn in Group A of the 2022 World Cup Qualification draw which took place this evening.
Joining Stephen Kenny’s team in Group A are Portugal, Serbia, Luxembourg and Azerbaijan. Portugal are the current European Champions due to the postponement of Euro 2020 last summer due to the Coronavirus. That tournament will be played this summer which adds to the international congestion next year.
Ireland will have fond memories of being in the same group as Cristiano Ronaldo’s nation as they qualified for the 2002 World Cup when facing Portugal and Holland, at the expense of the Dutch nation.
Serbia lost out to Scotland in the Euro 2020 qualification final last month in a penalty shoot-out. Ireland were drawn in the same group as Serbia for the 2018 World Cup Qualification campaign and only picked up one point in a 2-2 draw. In the last meeting in 2017, Ireland were defeated 0-1 at the Aviva Stadium.
Northern Ireland were handed a tough assignment with Italy, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Lithuania featuring in Group C along with Ian Baraclough’s side.
The ten group winners will go through to the World Cup in Qatar automatically while the ten second placed teams will enter the play-offs with the two best Nations League group winners.
Below is the list of the groups featuring Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England.
Group A: Portugal, Serbia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan
Group C: Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania
Group E: Belgium, Czech Republic, Wales, Belarus, Estonia
Group F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Islands, Moldova
Group I: England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, San Marino