While Ireland were clawing their way to an unimpressive draw in Belgrade last night, Wales easily dispatched Moldova.
Granted, Moldova are likely to be the whipping boys of the group but Wales looked very impressive and seemed to have transferred their stellar performances from the Euros to this opening qualifier match far more than Ireland have done.
Gareth Bale got his obligatory goal and remains the chief threat to try and contain for any upcoming opponents, but Joe Allen was the one who closed out the first half with a crisp strike from the edge of the box.
The newly-signed Stoke man has enjoyed an excellent start with his new club so far and it will serve as a further warning to Ireland that they deserve to be underdogs against the Euros semi-finalists in both home and away fixtures.
Pundits have said that Ireland were lucky to avoid the traditional giants such as Spain or Germany in their group, and while there is merit to this sort of thinking this is shaping up to be a group with enough quality to trouble, if not dominate Ireland.
Austria came away from Georgia with a win too, something that the Boys in Green know from experience is no easy feat, while Serbia showed a lot of quality as they bossed the match for 70 minutes or so.
All in all, it was a good night for Ireland as they came away from a tricky venue with a point, however all of the action across Group D may have served as a crash back to reality for many who perhaps assumed that this would be a straight shootout between Ireland and Wales for the top spot.
Vincent Whelan, Pundit Arena