Wales will be in the Qatar World Cup after thrashing Ukraine. Both sides had good chances in the incredible Cardiff air but it’s Wales who will face Ukraine in the FIFA Cup group stage. Oh the beauty, the humanity, the unrivalled, searing emotion of football. What a game, what a sport, what a sensation, if there was any doubt that Gareth Bale is Wales’ greatest ever player then he forcefully ended it here by compelling the goal that took them to the Cup for the 1st time.
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This was a time that will live long in the memory. There was Bale’s dramatic interference, of course there, was, but this was the most rousing of encounters and the acts at the end were simply strange and will endure. The Ukraine players were overcome. There were tears but through those tears, there was also violent pride, and the sight of the Wales fans all linking in the ‘thunder-clap’ unity as the Ukraine Football World Cup team stood in front of the large wedge of blue-and-yellow draped groups was sad.
Bale led his teammates over and they joined in earlier Aaron Ramsey a player who, like Bale, does not know what the coming holds for him walked to the other side and delayed for his young son to be agreed into his arms. As the revels, mixed with a sense of relief and nearly disbelief, continued on the sodden turf the veteran folk singer Dafydd Iwan who played the song for the FIFA World Cup walked onward to lead one last rendition of Yma o Hyd, the song he wrote 40 years ago.
The song interprets as Still Here and Bale, joining in, is still here and will captain Wales to the Football World Cup for the 1st time, when they touched the last 8, defeated by Brazil who was enthused by a 17-year-old called Pele. From then to now there has been a long list of near misses and deep displeasure from Scotland in 1977 and 1985 to Romania in 1993. Many great players have not completed it. But no more.
In Qatar World Cup, they will express England, the United States and Iran and we do not know yet where Bale, after being free by Real Madrid, will be playing his club football. If this felt like a likely last stand for Wales’s golden cohort, with goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and Joe Allen in that group, then that is precisely what it was. And yet they go again and go with glory.
Days after gathering an award in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, Bale has this attainment, one that surely means even more to him and Wales. Gareth Bale MBE, Gareth Bale Mae’n Berl ETO It’s additional pearlier declared the critic from S4C as the ball hit the net. To the 5 Football World Cup among the 19 trophies and his 9 years at Real can be added this landmark, perhaps the 32-year-old’s most special assumed the time, the stakes, the sentiment and where he is at in his profession.
Bale, it should be recalled, also scored both goals in the success over Austria that set up this play-off. For Ukraine, though, it is hard to equate. It is hard to draw contrasts between football and a country aggressive for its existence, except they have complete evidence of how much this squad, what they are doing and their dream of attainment the FIFA World Cup meant in such awful situations. They played with the rare bravery their country has shown over the past 4 months and they were on the good side.
Having justly defeated Scotland away in midweek in an equally strong occasion that must have taken much out of them ardently as well as physically, given how little most of them have played over the historical few months of the Football World Cup they gave all once more. But so did Wales with some astonishing defensive presentations from Ben Davies, Neco Williams and Hennessey.
Wales was under severe pressure through they were often out-played with Oleksandr Zinchenko running the game from midfield, but Ukraine just could not or was not allowable to take their probabilities. The only goal was technically an own goal but no one should guilt Andriy Yarmolenko who inappropriately headed the ball past his keeper as he tried to cut out Bale’s exertion. Goodness knows how the Ukraine captain feels in the FIFA World Cup. For more know about Football World Cup Tickets.
It was one of only two chances that fell to Bale and he seized it. After Daniel James was stained he grabbed the ball and drove the free-kick across goal from the left-hand side of the penalty part with Yarmolemko diving to interrupt. But rather than heading the danger away, the net bulged. Although Ramsey should have side-footed Wales into a 2-goal lead early in the 2nd half, and substitute Brennan Johnson struck the base of the pole with a volley, it was Ukraine who subjects in the Football World Cup.
Chance after chance was not occupied. They supposed they had scored after just three minutes when Zinchenko’s quick free-kick wedged out Hennessey, only for it to be ruled out with a few over-officious arbitrating. They should have had a penalty soon after Wales scored in the FIFA World Cup when Allen kicked the back of Yarmolenko’s foot as the onward stole in. And then they were deprived of, time and again, by Hennessey, Davies who complete 3 crucial blocks of the so-called ‘Red Wall’.
They were dissatisfied with their extravagance. One incident, in particular, stood out, as substitute Artem Dovbyk rose and bulleted a close-range header which Hennessey, somehow, got a hand to and twisted around the post to the Football World Cup. There was a shared gasp. As the five minutes of added time were shown the tautness was almost unbearable. Then there was that surge of relief and misery.
The FIFA World Cup shadowed the same format as four years earlier, with 8 of the 16 final places certain for UEFA squads, plus one more for the victor of an inter-continental play-off, in addition to the Cup containers West Germany. The 31 UEFA entrants were again alienated into nine groups four of 4 teams and 5 of 3.
Wales was drawn into Group 7 with Czechoslovakia and Scotland. Despite a 1–0 away loss to Scotland in their inaugural game in November 1976, the Wales Football World Cup team achieved a 3–0 success at home to Czechoslovakia in March 1977, with goals from Leighton James (2) and Nick Deacy rekindling their hopes of requirement. A win for Wales in their following game at home to Scotland in October 1977 would have put them on the verge of requirement with only Czechoslovakia left to play.
The game was first scheduled for Cardiff’s Ninian Park, but new legislation destined the local council would only provide a safety diploma for a maximum presence of 14,050, despite the FAW’s offer to fund developments to the ground if the council would upsurge the limit to 25,000. That offer was disallowed in the FIFA World Cup and similar issues banned the game from being played at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham.
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