Football

Wales vs Ukraine LIVE: World Cup play-off final latest score and updates as Gareth Bale starts

Ukraine fans support their team before kick-off

(Getty Images)

Wales are one win away from ending their 64-year wait for a place at the World Cup as they face a Ukraine team who are on the verge of completing one of the most remarkable qualification stories in the history of the tournament.

An electric atmosphere awaits in Cardiff as Wales host the play-off final for the final European place at the Qatar World Cup, after the match was delayed due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Despite the ongoing war and amid emotional scenes at Hampden on Wednesday, Ukraine produced a stunning performance to break Scotland’s hearts in the semi-final, with Wales having already progressed past Austria back in March.

Gareth Bale was key for Wales as he produced a magical double to defeat Austria and a nation’s hopes will once again turn towards the forward at the Cardiff City Stadium. If Bale was to guide Wales to a World Cup place it would add to his legend with the national team, after previous heroics in qualifying for the European Championships.

Ukraine will have been left drained by their efforts in Glasgow four days ago but their players have been inspired by the opportunity to provide joy, hope and pride for a country that suffered in the face of the Russian invasion. Oleksandr Zinchenko has led his side superbly and if Ukraine were to advance to the World Cup it would represent a momentous victory amid the most challenging of circumstances. Follow live updates from Wales vs Ukraine, below:

Wales vs Ukraine: World Cup play-off final

Match will kick-off at 5pm in CardiffWales XI: Hennessey; Ampadu, Rodon, B Davies; C Roberts, Ramsey, Allen, N Williams; Bale, James, Moore.Ukraine XI: Bushchan; Karavaev, Zabarnyi, Matvienko, Mykolenko; Stepanenko; Yarmolenko, Malinovskyi, Zinchenko, Tsygankov; Yaremchuk.Winner earns their place at Qatar 2022 World CupShow latest update
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Wales 0-0 Ukraine

4 min: Wales finally start to get their collective foot on the ball and sustain an attack in the Ukrainian half. They win a corner which is well punched clear by Bushchan in goal.

Lawrence Ostlere5 June 2022 17:08

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Wales 0-0 Ukraine

2 min: A terrible start for Wales here – Allen is booked for a lunge after losing control in his own half, and James is also shown yellow for arguing. Pointless by both. Zinchenko then scores with a quickly taken free-kick but the referee is not happy with that and calls play back, it was taken too quickly. Hennessey saves the second attempt.

Lawrence Ostlere5 June 2022 17:07

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Wales 0-0 Ukraine

1 min: Wales look set up in a 3-4-3 here with Bale and James either side of Moore. That means Aaron Ramsey will need to tuck in tightly alongside Joe Allen in midfield and play a more conservative role.

Lawrence Ostlere5 June 2022 17:05

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Kick-off! Wales vs Ukraine

And Ukraine are quickly on the attack. It’s a high-tempo start in the Welsh rain.

Lawrence Ostlere5 June 2022 17:03

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Wales vs Ukraine

Both anthems are sung with bucketfuls of pride and passion. The atmosphere is extraordinary in Cardiff tonight. “If there was a World Cup for singing, Wales would be favourites every time,” Martin Tyler says.

Lawrence Ostlere5 June 2022 17:01

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Lawrence Ostlere5 June 2022 16:58

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Wales vs Ukraine

Kick-off is right around the corner.

Manager Rob Page says: “Gareth Bale, 100 per cent fit, absolutely. Aaron Ramsey too. We had that great game in Poland for the younger players, it’s been a great week, and now we’re ready to go.”

Lawrence Ostlere5 June 2022 16:52

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Ukraine inspired by support from home

Ukraine players have a flag hanging in their dressing room signed by soldiers on the front line in the war at home.

Midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi says: “We think about them every day. I’m so happy to give a little positive emotion, a little bit of happiness, and I hope they do the job in our country and we try to do our job on the pitch. Something special, we will try.

“[We get] a lot of messages: ‘Guys, keep going, we’re so proud of you’.”

Ukraine fans support their team before kick-off

(Getty Images)

Ukraine fans show their support in Cardiff

(Getty Images)

Lawrence Ostlere5 June 2022 16:41

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Rodon backs Bale to be at full speed as Wales aim to reach World Cup

Joe Rodon has backed Gareth Bale to be at full speed as Wales attempt to end a 64-year wait to play at the World Cup.

Bale heads into Sunday’s play-off decider against Ukraine in Cardiff having played just 30 minutes of football since scoring twice in the semi-final win over Austria on March 24.

The 32-year-old was a peripheral figure during his final season at Real Madrid, making seven appearances in an injury-hit campaign and scoring just once.

But Rodon, a Tottenham team-mate of Bale’s in the 2020-21 season when the Wales captain made a loan switch from Real, said: “Gareth has obviously been in the game way longer than me.

“He knows what he needs for his body and how he needs to keep himself ticking over and in condition for the games.”

Jamie Braidwood5 June 2022 16:40

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Wales fans warned against pitch invasion at Ukraine World Cup play-off

Wales fans will face police action if they invade the pitch after Sunday’s World Cup play-off final against Ukraine.

Supporters have also been told not to bring pyrotechnics into the Cardiff City Stadium and risk arrest and a minimum three-year football banning order.

The warning from the Football Association of Wales comes after a spate of disorder towards the end of the season.

There were several post-match pitch invasions and a Nottingham Forest fan was jailed for 24 weeks after he attacked Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp.

“Cymru fans are award-winning and respected across Europe but depending on the situation at the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup play-off final; all spectators are politely requested to keep off the pitch,” the FAW said in a statement.

Jamie Braidwood5 June 2022 16:35

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