FIFA World Cups being played every four years means that if one team misses out, the wait can be very frustrating. That happens to plenty of countries, even to those who follow soccer closely. Wales appears as a perfect example of it since they waited over half a century to get back to the big stage of the sport. But that made their trip to Qatar 2022 much more enjoyable.
There are some stories in every tournament about a team leaving a drought behind. In this case, Wales will be returning to a FIFA World Cup after 64 years. Sweden 1958 was the last time they participated at this level, so their anxiety must be as high as it could possibly be. In fact, not only that was their latest appearance. That edition was their only time taking part in it, which adds even more value to their qualification.
The draw for Qatar 2022 was somewhat generous in that they will be able to compete for a place in round of 16. Group B has favorites and huge local rivals England as the top team, but the fight is going to be more even with the other two sides. The US and Iran complete the list, so they will have a chance to continue making history for their team. Find out how they were able to qualify to this event.
Wales’ road to Qatar 2022
The ticket to Qatar 2022 was full of obstacles for Wales. Starting with the polemic situation with their then-head coach Ryan Giggs that had the soccer legend stepping aside for personal issues. That left his assistant coach, Rob Page, in charge of the team first as an interim in November 2020. Page ended up staying the whole way given how successful they were under his directions.
Wales had to wait plenty of years to get back to a FIFA World Cup, but they did so to qualify this time as well based on a delayed journey due to reasons they couldn’t control. In the regular part of the UEFA qualifiers, they were drawn in group E with Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, and Belarus. Only the leader advanced directly, so their second place sent them to the playoffs.
There they had to play Austria at home in the equivalent of a semifinal. Their 2-1 win thanks to two Gareth Bale scores put them head-to-head with Ukraine to determine who was going to the World Cup. Wales played a very close game vs the Ukrainian side that concluded with a 1-0 victory via an opposite’s own goal. That was how they sealed their trip to Qatar 2022 last June.
Using this World Cup Predictor, you can see every potential outcome of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.