The Republic of Ireland defeated Moldova 2-0 at the Aviva Stadium on Friday night, a result which sets up a dramatic showdown with Wales on Monday.
With Wales beating Georgia by a goal-to-nil in the earlier kick-off, the Irish started the game third in Group D, four points behind the Welsh.
On the night, Daryl Murphy was the match-winner for the Republic, with the Nottingham Forest striker bagging a brace.
The hosts got off to a great start, with Murphy volleying home after just two minutes.
The 34-year-old former Ipswich and Newcastle man then netted his second of the game on 19 minutes, this time via a superb header.
Callum O’Dowda impressed throughout for Martin O’Neill’s men, with the Bristol City winger a constant thorn in the side of the Moldovan backline.
After the break, the visitors started to control the game, but they couldn’t make any inroads on the scoreline and had Alexandru Gatcan sent off late on for a headbutt on Harry Arter.
The win sees the Irish go to within a point of third-place Wales and two points behind leaders Serbia, with the a monumental clash now facing the Boys in Green on Monday.