Wales kept their hopes of being seeded for the 2022 World Cup play-offs firmly alive with a crucial victory over Estonia.
Kieffer Moore struck early on to earn Rob Page’s men all three points at Tallinn’s A. Le Coq Arena.
Here’s what the result means as far as Wales’ World Cup qualifying hopes are concerned.
Latest Group E results
Estonia 0-1 Wales
Belarus 0-2 Czech Republic
How Group E now looks
1 Belgium – Pld: 6; GD: +17; Pts: 16
2 Czech Republic – Pld: 7; GD: +3; Pts: 11
3 Wales – Pld: 6; GD: +1; Pts: 11
4 Estonia – Pld: 6; GD: -8; Pts: 4
5 Belarus – Pld: 7; GD: -13; Pts: 3
Where do Wales currently stand in the play-off picture?
Wales are highly likely to be involved the play-offs if they don’t finish in the top two of Group E given that they won their Nations League group in 2020.
If at least three of France, Belgium, Italy or Spain finish in the top two of their qualifying groups, then Wales will be guaranteed a play-off place. All four of those sides are currently leading their groups, which is good news for Rob Page’s men.
Finishing in the top two gives you the chance of being seeded in the play-off semi-finals, which in turn gives you a home tie.
Given that Wales still have a game in hand over the Czechs, their destiny remains in their own hands.
This is what Wales now need to finish second:
Four or more points from the remaining two matches against Belarus and Belgium will guarantee that Wales finish second. Of course, they may not even need that much, but that’s the lowest tally that will 100% be enough. The Czechs take on Estonia in their final outing next month.
Wales could even finish second if they finish on the same points total as Czech Republic, but they would need to boast a superior or level overall goal difference and number of goals scored. If the aforementioned criteria was all level, Wales would edge the Czechs to runner-up spot due to their better head-to-head record from the two games between the sides.
But, in reality, Wales probably need to beat Belarus and get at least a draw with Belgium given that Czech Republic should defeat Estonia.
READ MORE:Estonia v Wales
Who will qualify for the World Cup?
Each of the teams who top the 10 groups in the European section of qualifying will automatically earn a place at next year’s tournament in Qatar.
The 10 second placed sides will enter the play-offs. They will be joined in the play-offs by the best two Nations League group winners who finish outside the top two in their qualifying groups.
When are the play-offs and how do they work?
The 12 teams will be drawn into three play-off paths, with the winner of each path earning a spot at the next World Cup. The play-off draw takes place later this year after the qualifying phase is concluded.
The winner of both one-legged semi-finals in each path will face off in a final to determine the path winner.
The six best ranked group runners-up will earn home semi-final ties, meaning the remaining four runners-up and two teams to reach the play-offs via the Nations League will be unseeded and consequently play away in the semi-final ties.
The hosts for the three finals will be determined by a draw.
The play-offs run from March 24 to March 29 next year.
The World Cup in Qatar takes place between November 21 and December 18 in 2022.
Wales’ remaining World Cup qualifiers
Belarus (H) – Saturday, November 13 (7:45pm)
Belgium (H) – Tuesday, November 16 (7:45pm)
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