A remarkable statistic, highlighting the true enormity of Wales booking a spot at this year’s World Cup, has come to the fore late on Sunday evening.
Robert Page’s troops of course marked their return to action a short time ago.
With a spot at world football’s most historic international tournament at stake, the Dragons welcomed Ukraine to Cardiff, for a one-off qualification playoff.
And, when all was said and done, the evening’s hosts did enough to ensure that it will be they, not Ukraine, who are afforded the opportunity to showcase their talents on the grandest stage in Qatar.
A solitary goal, netted late in the first-half, ultimately proved enough to guide Wales to victory.
Almost inevitably, Dragons talisman Gareth Bale was at the heart of things, as the soon-to-be free agent’s whipped set-piece delivery was nodded into his own net by the unfortunate Andriy Yarmolenko:
WALES LEAD! 🏴
Gareth Bale’s free-kick is diverted into his own net by
Andriy Yarmolenko! 😮 pic.twitter.com/cyj9ZrUlSK
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) June 5, 2022
Wales’ victory on Sunday, though, did not only prove significant in ensuring that the nation’s stars will board the plane to Qatar this coming winter.
In addition, it saw Rob Page’s men etch their respective names into the history of international football.
As per statisticians Opta, having booked their first World Cup berth since all the way back in 1958, the Welsh have established themselves as the country with the ‘biggest gap between qualifications for a World Cup tournament’ – 64 years.
64 – Wales will now take part in the 2022 World Cup, with their victory establishing the biggest gap between qualifications for a World Cup tournament – their last appearance came at the 1958 finals, 64 years ago. Accomplished. pic.twitter.com/OEfve2a4f7
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 5, 2022