|Host nation: Qatar Dates: 20 November-18 December Protection: Reside on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Reside, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport web site and app. Day-by-day TV listings – Full protection particulars|
Even in unfamiliar territory, Wales will really feel like they’ve been right here earlier than.
Enjoying at their first World Cup for 64 years, Wales turned to a well-recognized saviour in Gareth Bale as they pulled some extent from the fireplace of their opening sport in opposition to the USA.
And though that they had not graced this stage since 1958, Wales can flip to more moderen historical past for inspiration as they plot their approach ahead in Qatar.
Having been absent from main tournaments for 58 years, Wales have certified for 3 out of 4 since 2016. And it’s the latest of these, final 12 months’s delayed Euro 2020, which might kind the template for progress at this World Cup.
Within the sweltering warmth of Azerbaijan, Wales’ first match in 2021 was not going to plan as they trailed 1-0 at half-time in opposition to Switzerland, whose lead was no reflection of their dominance.
On that event Kieffer Moore’s header earned Wales a 1-1 draw and set the platform for the second group sport wherein they blew Turkey away to take an enormous stride in the direction of the second spherical.
In Qatar on Monday evening, there have been echoes of that marketing campaign’s starting in Baku.
Wales have been completely outplayed by the USA within the first half and lucky solely to be 1-0 down on the break, earlier than Moore’s introduction remodeled them.
Bale, their captain, all-time main scorer and scriptwriter in chief, then conjured one more decisive second with a late penalty.
Wales had not been right here for 64 years and but nonetheless this felt like a movie that they had seen earlier than.
“The aim was precisely what we would have liked,” mentioned Bale.
“It did not matter who scored it and it gave us a foothold to attempt to go and win it. I felt that we performed very nicely within the second half.
“Personally, it was nice to get the aim however an important factor was that the group scored. We simply have to maintain the momentum going, get better and go once more.”
This latter-era Bale will not be the all-action winger of a decade in the past however he’s nonetheless a matchwinner, who at 33 years previous now has to decide on his moments; “sensible” and “clever” as Web page mentioned after the sport.
Bale remains to be able to rolling again the years and producing performances of classic high quality, as he did for the aforementioned victory over Turkey at Euro 2020.
Bale, Moore and the remainder of Wales’ gamers tailored throughout that match in opposition to Switzerland, survived the onslaught and put themselves ready the place beating Turkey took them to the cusp of the knockout phases.
On Monday evening in opposition to the USA, those self same gamers helped be sure that Wales accomplished the primary a part of repeating the trick.
After a draw first up, now they should beat Iran on Friday to take the same stride in the direction of the second spherical of the World Cup.
“Classes have been discovered,” mentioned Web page. “It was necessary we did not lose the sport.
“We have got some drained our bodies in there so we have got to get a group able to go once more on Friday.
“The nice factor we have got, should you look on the bench now, we have got Brennan [Johnson] taking part in within the Premier League, he got here on and made an impression, Kieffer got here on and made an impression.
“We now have energy in depth. I can look over my shoulder to the bench and we have got gamers who can come on and have an actual impression on video games.”
At Euro 2020, Wales reached the spherical of 16 regardless of dropping their closing group sport to Italy, who went on to win the event.
They conclude their group stage at this World Cup with a match in opposition to England subsequent Tuesday.
The place their very own destiny is worried, Wales can be glad for a repeat of Euro 2020. It’d simply be that the goodwill doesn’t prolong to wishing that their closing group opponents go on to elevate the trophy once more.