The scars of the Belgian defeat at the Euros may still exist, but tonight they have been balmed somewhat.
Roberto Martinez' Belgian side have done Ireland a big favour in fixing the permutations so as to thrust Ireland's fate into their own hands. They beat Bosnia 4-3 in a thrilling, maddening game in Sarajevo this evening, meaning that we now have half the results we need to have the chance to rank above the second-placed side in Group H.
We now need Greece, in third place in Group H, to drop points away to Cyprus this evening. If that happens, Ireland will kick off in Cardiff knowing that a win will guarantee a place in the World Cup playoffs.
Kick off in Nicosia is at 7.45pm tonight, so for the next couple of hours at least, we are all Cyprus fans. Therefore, we need our Cypriot boys to summon the spirit of '06, and deliver something along the lines of this...
The Belgian game was played on a hideous pitch in Bosnia, with Thomas Meunier giving Belgium the lead in the opening five minutes. A couple of hideous defensive errors then followed for Belgium (they're coached by Roberto Martinez, after all) to allow Bosnia lead 2-1 at the break. Michy Batshuayi then levelled for Belgium, before Jan Vertonghen made it 3-2. Bosnia equalised with ten minutes to go to set up a grandstand finish....for all of a minute. Yannick Carrasco made it 4-3 to kill off Bosnian hopes, and turn us all into Cyprus fans for a few hours at least.