Aston Villa international update: Clark stars for Ireland whilst Ayew nets for Ghana

Ciaran Clark ensured that he'll be a busy man next summer, as the Aston Villa defender helped the Republic of Ireland qualify for Euro 2016.

Going into the second leg of their play-off against Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ireland knew that a home clean sheet would see them through to the finals, with them having claimed a valuable away goal in the first leg's 1-1 draw.

Clark plays crucial role in Irish triumph

Clark helped them to get this clean sheet, whilst Stoke City striker Jon Walters scored a brace as Ireland won 2-0 to win 3-1 on aggregate, and book their place in France next year.

A dubious penalty was awarded after 24 minutes, with the referee judging that Ervin Zukanovi had handled the ball from a cross, and Walters made no mistake by tucking the ball into the bottom left corner.

Although a goal had Ireland in control of the match, they were coming under lots of pressure from the Bosnians for periods of the second half, and it took some resilient defending from the likes of Clark to keep them out - with the Villan making a number of crucial blocks.

The victory was secured with around 20 minutes to go, Walters again making the difference, volleying in from a Robbie Brady free-kick. The Republic join Northern Ireland, England and Wales at the tournament, alongside the other 19 nations that have already sealed their qualification.

Clark celebrates qualification with goalscorer Walters (photo: zimbio)
Clark celebrates qualification with goalscorer Walters (photo: zimbio)

Ayew scores in Ghana victory

Elsewhere, Jordan Ayew got on the scoresheet for Ghana in their 2-0 with over Comoros.

Needing a victory to put them through to the next round of African World Cup qualifying, Ayew got the second goal that clinched victory for Ghana on 70 minutes.

Taking the ball down in the area with a wonderful first touch, he turned past two defenders before angling the ball into the bottom right hand corner with his stronger foot.