Wales 1-0 Ukraine LIVE! World Cup playoff final result and latest updates

·13-min read
Wales 1-0 Ukraine LIVE! World Cup playoff final result and latest updates

Wales vs Ukraine - LIVE!

It all comes down to this.

Wales host Ukraine in the World Cup play-off final in Cardiff this afternoon, looking to make their first appearance at the game’s biggest competition since 1958.

For the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, two of the country’s greatest ever players, this could well be the last roll of the dice.

Usually so strong in Cardiff, Rob Page’s side are up against it.

Ukraine overcame Scotland on Wednesday in emotional scenes and qualification for the 2022 World Cup would be one of the most remarkable sporting stories of the world.

What was so impressive about their win in Glasgow is just how routine it looked for a team playing against the backdrop of turmoil.

Wales, however, have a job to do.

The generation to have given them so much are surely in their final days now, with a World Cup appearance all that’s missing.

Follow all of the action LIVE with Standard Sport’s dedicated match blog!

Wales vs Ukraine latest news

  • CHANCE! Ramsey fluffs his lines

  • GOAL! Bale deflected free kick!

  • Prediction: Wales 1-0 Ukraine

Wales 1 - 0 Ukraine

"Little ol’ Wales in the World Cup, aye?”

19:20 , Alex Young

"There was a lot of emotion in this game, but we stood up brilliantly,” Ben Davies told Sky Sports.

"Every challenge they threw at us we dealt with.

"It's incredible, a dream come true, as a squad we've worked so hard for this.

"We may not have the most talented group but we give it everything we have got."

Next for Bale... Wrexham?

19:02 , Alex Young

Imagine.

Full-time!

18:56 , Alex Young

They’ve done it! Wales are heading to a World Cup for the first time in 64 years!

Heartbreak for Ukraine, who were the better side on the night but couldn’t make it count.

18:52 , Alex Young

92min: Yarmolenko creates an inch of space but fires a yard over.

Wales replace Williams with Norrington-Davies.

18:50 , Alex Young

91min: FIVE minutes added on.

18:49 , Alex Young

90min: Into the final minute of normal time. The place in Qatar is in sight.

18:47 , Alex Young

87min: Ukraine piling on the pressure but Wales are not budging. It just isn’t falling for Ukraine today, but that’s not to take anything away from the Welsh defensive display.

CHANCE!

18:44 , Alex Young

84min: It’s just not happening for Ukraine today. That’s the only explanation.

Dovbyk’s header looks certain to fly past Hennessey, but the goalkeeper pulls off a stunning save to deny the substitute.

18:42 , Alex Young

83min: Bale makes way, replaced by Wilson, with seven minutes to play.

Seven minutes away from a World Cup place.

18:38 , Alex Young

78min: Up the other end, Ukraine work it well side to side before spotting a gap in the centre but, you’ve guessed it, Ben Davies steps up and denies what looks like a certain goal.

Remarkable display.

POST!

18:36 , Alex Young

76min: That was almost it! On just minutes earlier, the striker hits the inside of the post.

He then works the ball back into the area to spot Bale unmarked at the far post, but the forward is denied by Bushchan.

18:34 , Alex Young

75min: Wales holding firm in defence, letting Ukraine pass in front of them and frustrated. Shaparenko eventually has a pop at goal but it’s high and wide.

18:31 , Alex Young

71min: First roll of the dice for Ukraine as replace two. Malinovskyi and Stepanenko make way for Sydorchuk and Shaparenko.

Wales bring on Johnson for James.

18:27 , Alex Young

68min: Ben Davies again! Ukraine win back possession in Wales’ final third but up steps the defender to cut out the danger straight away.

Huge cheers.

18:26 , Alex Young

66min: Malinovskyi tries his luck from 25 yards and sees his whipped shot bounce past Hennessey’s left-hand post.

Need to do better than that.

18:23 , Alex Young

64min: Wales playing with far more confidence than in the first half, which isn’t surprising of course.

Ukraine continue to threaten. This game is on a knife edge.

18:22 , Alex Young

62min: My word, this game is end to end.

Ukraine push forward to allow Wales more space on the counter, and they do through Bale before eventually giving James a sight of goal which wins a corner.

CHANCE!

18:19 , Alex Young

59min: Ukraine continue to knock on the door.

This time Yarmolenko looks certain to poke the ball past Hennessey after a fine slide-rule pass, but Davies flies in to clear the danger. Fantastic tackle.

18:15 , Alex Young

56min: How many chances with Ukraine miss?!

Twice from close range, they are unable to properly test Hennessey before the danger is cleared, sliding in and sticking out a boot but the keeper can parry.

18:13 , Alex Young

54min: Almost a sight of goal for Wales as Davies finds Ramsey on the right of the goal. A fine touch creates space with Bale dashing into the area for the pass, but Ukraine hack the ball clear.

18:10 , Alex Young

It is leathering it down in Cardiff. Robert Page is drenched on the touchline.

CHANCE!

18:08 , Alex Young

49min: What a goal that would have been! A sweeping Wales counter between Williams, James and then Ramsey, who fluffs his lines in the centre.

That could have been the game.

18:06 , Alex Young

46min: Ukraine straight on the front foot but the move breaks down as Malinovsky can’t find Zinchenko through the middle.

18:04 , Alex Young

Back under way. No changes.

18:03 , Alex Young

The teams are back out.

17:57 , Alex Young

Such a tight game.

Ukraine will be wondering how they haven’t scored and, likely, how they haven’t won a penalty. And, what Yarmolenko was thinking for Wales’ goal.

Another Wales goal and it’s all over. A Ukraine goal? Wouldn’t bet against them getting another.

Half-time

17:50 , Alex Young

Bale's deflected free kick is the difference. Ukraine firmly the better side, though.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

17:47 , Alex Young

45min: Heart-in-mouth time for the Wales defence as we enter stoppage time with the Ukraine corner delivery bouncing awkwardly in the penalty area before Hennessey pounces on it.

17:45 , Alex Young

43min: Wales suddenly in no rush as half-time approaches. James gets a lengthy talking to by the referee for seemingly looking for a foul.

17:43 , Alex Young

41min: Hold on, VAR checking for a Ukraine penalty, Allen with a possible trip on Yarmolenko.

...not given. Looked soft.

17:42 , Alex Young

40min: Ukraine look, understandably, a but shell-shocked by that. They need to regain their composure.

Zinchenko goes some way to do that with a fine low shot towards the near post.

GOAL!

17:38 , Alex Young

35min: Cometh the hour.... Bale fires home a free kick (kinda)!

Yarmolenko inexplicably heads the shot past his own keeper.

17:35 , Alex Young

34min: Talking of Bale, Wales have won a free kick in very much his territory...

17:34 , Alex Young

32min: Mykolenko goes into the book after forearm into James’ face. Bale licks his lips.

17:32 , Alex Young

30min: Another chance for Ukraine after another mistake from Wales, this time Yarmolenko testing Hennessey from 25 yards, which the keeper does well to parry.

17:31 , Alex Young

29min: Tsygankov thinks he has beaten the offside trap again, dances towards goal but bends his shot wide... until the referee flags.

Ukraine are getting in behind, a lot.

17:28 , Alex Young

26min: Ampadu is flattened by a blistering shot from Zinchenko. The visitors enjoying plenty of possession but Wales providing plenty of threat.

CHANCE!

17:24 , Alex Young

22min: That should be 1-0!

Fine work across to the left sees a ball fizzed into the centre where defender Karavayev is free, but he miscues his shot and the chance goes begging.

17:22 , Alex Young

20min: Bushchan gets some more treatment but should be OK to continue.

A minute later, Bale senses an opportunity and has a pop from 40 yards, but it’s an equal distance wide.

17:19 , Alex Young

17min: Break in play as Ukraine keeper Bushchan comes for a cross, gets nowhere near it and falls to the ground.

Far from convincing.

CHANCE!

17:16 , Alex Young

13min: Almost the opener! Roman Yaremchuk beats the offside trap and tests Wayne Hennessey from the angle, which the goalkeeper gobbles up at the second attempt.

He should that squared a pass across the penalty area. Big chance.

17:13 , Alex Young

11min: Ukraine playing well, trying to calm the game down as the crowd cheer Wales on. The visitors looking the most likely at the moment.

17:09 , Alex Young

8min: Daniel James twists inside, drives towards the area fizzes a shot low towards Ukraine’s goal. Wide.

It’s end to end.

17:08 , Alex Young

6min: Bale has been busy on the left wing already. First flinging in a fine delivery from a corner and then a whipped cross towards the penalty area.

He’s in the mood.

17:06 , Alex Young

3min: Joe Allen and Daniel James have both already been booked.

A frightening pace to this game already.

NO GOAL!

17:04 , Alex Young

2min: A frantic start and Ukraine think they have scored but Zinchenko’s quick free kick is too quick for the referee. No goal.

Kick-off

17:01 , Alex Young

Here we go!

Just 90 minutes from the World Cup.

16:59 , Alex Young

Wales fans applaud the Ukraine national anthem.

16:57 , Alex Young

The teams are out.

‘This is our time'

16:51 , Alex Young

"We believe this is our time to get to a World Cup finals," FA Wales chief Noel Mooney said.

"They are going through an horrendous time. I do understand that the world will look at this [and] like Eurovision, they want to see Ukraine get great global profile. We all do.

"But at the end of the day our job is to get to the World Cup. It will be decided on the football field. We believe we have enough in our locker to get us there."

16:40 , Alex Young

Kick-off is fast approaching.

 (AP)
(AP)

‘Everyone in the world feels for Ukraine'

16:26 , Alex Young

Most neutral viewers will likely be supporting Ukraine in the wake of Russia's invasion of their country, which Moscow calls a "special military operation."

When asked how it felt to be taking on Ukraine in such circumstances, Gareth Bale said the most important thing was that Wales would be "the most popular team in the stadium."

"Everyone in the world feels for Ukraine," Bale said. "It is sport that unites everybody. We understand what it will do for Ukraine, but we want to get to the World Cup.

"That is not coming from a horrible place. It is coming from our country and hearts as we want to deliver for our own fans."

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Kick-off approaches

16:15 , Alex Young

Former player Iwan Roberts sets the scene.

Bales on Wales dressing room

16:07 , Alex Young

Bale said Wales are desperate to qualify for their first World Cup finals appearance in 64 years.

Wales' only World Cup finals appearance was in Sweden in 1958, where they lost to Brazil in the quarter-finals.

"It's a big game. It's difficult to put it into whether it's 'the' big game. Obviously, we played in a semi-final of a European Championship" in 2016, Bale, who sat out Wales' 2-1 Nations League defeat to Poland, told reporters on Saturday.

"It's a massive game. I think there's no hiding it. We've only played in one World Cup.

"So this is a stepping stone that all of us want to take to play on the biggest level. And yeah, we have a massive game tomorrow that we're desperate to win and to achieve our goal."

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ukraine XI

15:51 , Alex Young

Ukraine named the same side that secured their final place by winning 3-1 in Scotland on Wednesday, with Premier League pair Oleksandr Zinchenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko both involved.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Ukraine XI: Bushchan; Karavaev, Zabarnyi, Matvienko, Mykolenko; Stepanenko; Yarmolenko, Malinovskyi, Zinchenko, Tsygankov; Yaremchuk

Wales team news

15:42 , Alex Young

Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies and Joe Allen all come back into the starting line-up after a night off in the week.

Joe Rodon, Ethan Ampadu, Connor Roberts and Neco Williams had a 45-minute run out and will be fresh for tonight.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Wales XI

15:35 , Alex Young

Wales as expected.

A half-and-half scarf which you’ll want

15:28 , Alex Young

The atmosphere is building in Cardiff.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Score prediction

15:15 , Alex Young

This is such a unique and difficult contest to call.

Wales’ defeat in Poland - a match they initially led with less than 20 minutes to play - can be discounted as they had one eye firmly fixed on this colossal showdown. With Bale leading the way for his country as usual, Page’s men certainly rose to the occasion on an unforgettable night against Austria.

That backing from a fervent Cardiff crowd could prove decisive once more, though Ukraine showed at Hampden that they won’t be overawed by that sort of partisan atmosphere.

To produce the calibre of performance they did against an albeit flat Scotland team given everything that is going on in their country and with a real lack of playing time for many of their squad is simply remarkable. This may end up proving one step too far, but Ukraine can be so proud of their achievements regardless of Sunday’s result.

Wales to win, 1-0.

 (PA)
(PA)

Ukraine team news: As you were

15:03 , Alex Young

Ukraine are not believed to have sustained any injury concerns during the win over Scotland.

Oleksandr Petrakov expected to name an unchanged starting lineup.

Wales team news: No fresh injury concerns

14:56 , Jonathan Gorrie

Wales boss Page named a much-changed side for Wednesday’s 2-1 Nations League defeat by Poland, with key stars such as Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies and Joe Allen all given the night off and the likes of Danny Ward, Kieffer Moore and Dan James substituted at half-time.

Joe Rodon, Ethan Ampadu, Connor Roberts, Neco Williams and Harry Wilson were all on the bench in Wroclaw, meanwhile.

There are no fresh injury concerns for the home side.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

,Where to watch

14:46 , Jonathan Gorrie

TV channel: In the UK, Sunday’s match will be televised live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event, with coverage beginning at 4pm.

Live coverage is also available via S4C and for free on ITV, where the show also starts at 4.

Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers will also be able to watch the game online via the Sky Go app. Fans can also watch online via the ITV Hub or S4C Player.

Live blog: You can also follow all the action via Standard Sport’s live blog.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Welcome

14:15 , Jonathan Gorrie

Good afternoon and welcome to Standard Sport’s match coverage of Wales’ World Cup play-off final against Ukraine.

Kick-off from today’s huge game is at 5pm BST inside the Cardiff City Stadium.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
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