Wales ended their 64-year wait for a place in the World Cup finals as they beat Ukraine 1-0 on Sunday to end the war-torn nation’s hopes of reaching Qatar.
An own goal from Ukraine winger Andriy Yarmolenko, who headed a Gareth Bale free-kick into his own net, decided the contest.
Despite the loud and passionate atmosphere, Ukraine were on top from the outset and Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey was busy in the opening half making three vital saves to keep the score level.
It was against the run of play then when Wales grabbed the lead in the 34th minute, Bale fired a low free-kick from 25 metres out and Yarmolenko’s stooping, attempted header clear, flew into the net past the helpless Georgiy Bushchan.
Aaron Ramsey missed a great chance to double Wales’ lead after the break, side-footing wide from a great position and then Neco Williams drilled a well-struck shot against the post.
But Wales, who last appeared in the World Cup finals in 1958. had Henessey to thank again as he pulled off a fine one-handed save from substitute Artem Dovbyk’s powerful header, six minutes from the end.