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Gareth Bale scores Wales first World Cup goal in 64 years

Ryan Sidle

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Gareth Bale scores Wales first World Cup goal in 64 years

Gareth Bale scored Wales' first goal in a World Cup since 1958, after he slotted home a penalty in the team's opening game against USA.

Wales had spent many years in international tournament wilderness, following their run to the quarter final in Sweden 64 years ago.

That was ended in 2016, when they qualified for the Euros in France and went on to reach the semi finals, beating Belgium in the last eight on the way.

They followed that up by getting into the Euros last year, this time going out in the last 16, losing 4-0 to Denmark, though they were still yet to reach a World Cup.

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However, that changed earlier this year, when Robert Page's team beat Ukraine in the final play-off game, to secure their place in Qatar.

On Monday they took part in their first game on the world stage in over 60 years, with Pele the most recent player to have scored against them in the tournament.

Timothy Weah changed that stat in the first half of the game, slotting home after football's LeBron James, Christian Pulisic, had played him in.

However, Bale grabbed an equaliser in the second half, becoming the first Welshman since Terry Medwin to score in the World Cup, after converting from the penalty spot.

Walker Zimmerman took out Bale and the LAFC forward stepped and slammed the ball past Arsenal reserve keeper Matt Turner.

The 33-year-old was often criticised during his time as a Real Madrid player for caring more about his country than he did his club.

There is no doubt that he has often saved his biggest performances for the national team in recent years and he once again stepped up when it mattered.

There looked little way through for Page's team in the first half as they failed to make many chances, against a game USMNT.

That all changed in the second half, with the introduction of Bournemouth striker Kieffer Moore, who replaced the ineffectual Dan James at the break.

Moore had a great chance to equalise, when he somehow managed to guide his free header over the bar, from a brilliantly placed free kick.

Moore's introduction certainly helped the side get further up the pitch more often, and gave the American defenders more to think about.

That led to Bale winning the penalty and he stepped up to smash home the 42nd international goal of his career, in 110 appearances for the national team.

Next up for Page's side is a game with Iran on Friday, before facing England a week on Tuesday, as they attempt to get out of the group stages.

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Topics: Wales, Gareth Bale, Football World Cup, USA

Ryan Sidle
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