Goals from Shane Duffy, Cheidozie Ogbene and Callum Robinson all in the second half in Luxembourg means that the Republic of Ireland leapt above their hosts to third in the final standings in Group A.
It was a measure of revenge for a defeat in Dublin back in March.
Luxembourg had decent spells of possession and were aggrieved to see a goal ruled out at nil all. They were left chasing shadows once they went behind and struggled to keep up with a pacey Irish frontline. It has been a good campaign overall for an improving side though.
Luxembourg made one switch from the side who won in Baku. Vahid Selimovic of OFI took the place of suspended Dick Carlson. Gerson Rodrigues was again expected to be the main danger man after his winner in Dublin.
Stephen Kenny opted for some changes from the draw with Portugal. Adam Idah started in place of Jamie McGrath in attack while James McClean replaced Enda Stevens. Andrew Omobamidele recovered from his recent knock to start on the bench.
It was the home side who were first to threaten. Borges Sanches got in behind James McClean to send in a cross that Shane Duffy had to get a head on. Moments later, Rodrigues caused concern when he broke into the box. There were appeals for a penalty as the ball hit the shoulder of Duffy. Callum Robinson did have a chance at the other end after a good run and cross from Cheidozie Ogbene that was palmed away.
Ireland grew into the game as the pace up front caused the home side problems. There was a firm appeal for an Irish penalty for a push on Adam Idah that was overturned to the ire of Kenny. VAR was not even consulted to the surprise of many.
Ogbene then embarked on two surging runs which required last ditch blocks, before Robinson won a free-kick for a foul just outside the area. Bookings for two home defenders summed up the unease in their ranks.
It almost swung back in favour of Luxembourg as Oliver Thill found room outside the area. He had a shot which took a deflection off Josh Cullen and looked goal bound. Gavin Bazunu was equal to it to tip it away superbly.
Ralph Schon was then responsible for keeping his side in it with two big saves. He stopped a point-blank effort from Ogbene after an error by Christopher Martins and then a John Egan header from a corner.
The second-half almost begun with a goal for the home side. A loose pass from the back was intercepted by Rodrigues. His tame effort went straight into the hands of Bazunu though. Jeff Hendrick and Matt Doherty had attempts at the other end go just wide.
Daniel Sinani thought he had given Luxembourg the lead when he tapped him from close range. It was ruled out for an earlier foul on Duffy however.
Kenny sought to change things up bringing Jason Knight into midfield. It helped give the midfield a degree of control after a worrying period.
And it helped towards the opening goal. He was fouled just outside the area and from Cullen’s free kick, Duffy was unmaked to nod home. Neither goalkeeper nor defender should want to see how it evaded both. A nervous Irish wait on VAR ensured the lead.
A slick passing move then brought the second. A number of passes took place before Hendrick played the ball through to Knight. His pass inside found the on-running Ogbene to slide it home. Just desserts after he had won the ball back to start it off. Robinson almost made it three, but his shot lacked any sort of power.
He wouldn’t be denied though as he grabbed Ireland’s third – a goal that cemented third spot in the group. The Boys in Green wearing their new orange kit won the ball in midfield before it went wide to McClean. His lofted cross found Knight who tucked it inside to Robinson to tap it in.
Delight for the travelling fans and management upon the final whistle. Both sides’ qualifying campaign will obviously end here but redemption for Ireland to secure third place in the group.
Next up for both sides will be the beginning of the Nations League and European Championship qualifying. Onwards and upwards hopefully!
Luxembourg: Ralph Schon; Christopher Martins (Sebastien Thill 86), Laurent Jans (c), Maxime Chanot, Mica Pinto; Leandro Barreiro, Vahid Selimovic, Danel Sinani, Olivier Thill; Yvandro Borges Sanches (Maurice Deville 52), Gerson Rodrigues.
Subs not used: Tim Kips, Kevin Malget, Diogo Pimentel, Eric Veiga, Michael Omosanya, Aldin Skenderovic, Florian Bohnert.
Booked: Vahid Selimovic (6), Christopher Martins (19).
Republic of Ireland: Gavin Bazunu; John Egan, Shane Duffy, Séamus Coleman (c); Jeff Hendrick, Matt Doherty (Andrew Omobamidele 90), Joshua Cullen (Troy Parrott 90), James McClean; Adam Idah (Jason Knight 62), Chiedozie Ogbene (Alan Browne 82), Callum Robinson (Conor Hourihane 90).
Subs not used: Mark Travers, Caoimhin Kelleher, Enda Stevens, Nathan Collins, Jamie McGrath, Will Keane, Callum O'Dowda.
Booked: Joshua Cullen (47) ,Shane Duffy (54) Jason Knight (84).
Sent off: None.
Referee: Tamas Bognar (Hungary)
extratime.com Player of the Match: Chiedozie Ogbene (Ireland)