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Bale scores as Wales goes to FIFA World Cup after 64 years, Ukraine’s hopes end

Gareth Bale led Wales to the FIFA World Cup for the primary time in 64 years by beating Ukraine 1-0 to take the ultimate European spot in Qatar

Gareth Bale led Wales to the FIFA World Cup for the primary time in 64 years by beating Ukraine 1-0 to take the ultimate European spot in Qatar

Weeks of again spasms weren’t going to cease Gareth Bale’s mission to lead Wales again to the World Cup. Try stopping the captain taking to the sector when there’s a 64-year drought to end. Try stopping a free kick from a ahead who was as soon as the world’s costliest footballer. Ukraine winger Andriy Yarmolenko might solely divert it into his personal internet with a header.

The 1-0 win over war-disrupted Ukraine on Sunday, secured within the thirty fourth minute within the Cardiff downpour, was sufficient to ship Wales again to the World Cup as the nation with the longest hole between {qualifications} for the FIFA showpiece.

‘What dreams are made of’: Bale

“It’s the greatest result in the history of Welsh football,” Bale said. “I’m just delighted we are going to a World Cup. It means everything, it’s what dreams are made of. I’m speechless. I’m so glad we’ve done it for these amazing fans.”

Bale was a kind of spectators for the remaining 10 minutes or so after being substituted when his physique might supply no extra.

“It was difficult,” Bale said. “I haven’t played too much football these last three or four weeks because of my back spasm, but the most important thing was to get through. I give my all. I was running on empty.”

The trip to Qatar gives Bale — British soccer’s most decorated foreign export at Real Madrid — a chance to finally play on the sport’s biggest stage. But the five-time Champions League winner is without a club for next season after being released by Madrid. While saying he has “loads” of affords, the 32-year-old free agent had been coy about his taking part in future.

U. S., England await Wales

Now there’s a new membership to discover to keep match match for the Nov. 21 World Cup opener in opposition to the United (*64*). Then there’s Iran and England to play in Group B. The Welsh additionally performed their neighbors on the 2016 European Championship once they misplaced to England within the group stage.

But Wales did go additional than England at Euro 2016 in France, reaching the semifinals the place Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal to victory after which the title. Another soccer nice knocked out Wales on the 1958 World Cup, with Pele netting the one purpose in eventual champion Brazil’s quarterfinal win.

Wales did contest a 3rd event final 12 months, returning to the European Championship and dropping to Denmark within the spherical of 16.

Now Doha is the vacation spot for Wales, which is extra accustomed to that includes at Rugby World Cups, having certified for all 9 editions.

“It’s unbelievable — little old Wales at the World Cup,” midfielder Aaron Ramsey said. “It’s amazing.”

Hennessey’s heroics

Thanks most of all to goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey who thwarted 9 pictures heading in the right direction to forestall Ukraine scoring.

“It’s absolutely incredible — not just for me, everybody who’s been on this pitch tonight,” Hennessey said. “Gareth, unbelievable free kick again, so I’m absolutely buzzing. It’s unexplainable. He’s so dangerous at free kicks. When he’s on the field stuff happens and for me he’s an amazing talent and a joy to watch.”

Page to lead Wales

This qualification has been achieved with teaching uncertainty. Robert Page stepped up to lead the group on a brief foundation in early 2021 with Ryan Giggs nonetheless out of the administration job whereas awaiting trial on prices of home violence.

Now Page is about to lead the group in Qatar.

“I’m so proud of these boys,” Page mentioned. “They thoroughly deserved that. The one thing they needed was a World Cup and they’ve got it.”

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