Wales star Gareth Bale gives emotional interview after Iran defeat
Wales striker Gareth Bale was emotional and exhausted following his nation’s painful defeat by Iran on Friday. The Dragons now have a mountain to climb if they are to get out of World Cup Group B, with a win against England next week the absolute minimum requirement for Rob Page’s side.
The stakes were high before Friday’s clash with Iran, with both teams dropping points in their opener. Wales held out in an entertaining 1-1 draw with the USA, while Iran put on a worrying display as England thrashed them 6-2.
The two nations, who sit next to each other in the FIFA men’s world rankings, were level in the first half, but the game changed after the break. Iran received an extra dose of confidence when goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was sent off for a kung-fu kick on Mehdi Taremi with four minutes or normal time remaining.
Firmly on the ropes, Wales held on until the eighth minute of stoppage time, when Rouzbeh Cheshmi’s shout sparked scenes of jubilation for the Middle East team. Ramin Rezaeian then added salt to Wales’ wounds with a deft finish on 101 minutes to give Iran hope and leave Bale’s Dragons clutching a stone’s throw regarding qualification for the round of 16.
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“But obviously a red card changes the game completely. We let the first one in and the second one doesn’t matter.” Just four days ago, Bale won and stepped up to take the penalty that gave Wales a point against the United States in their first World Cup match since 1958.
They now find themselves bottom of Group B with England and USA still to play on Friday, meaning three points against Gareth Southgate’s side is all that can offer them any hope of a place in the knockout rounds. of the Qatar World Cup. The Dragons have never failed to break out of a group after qualifying for a major tournament, but the odds are now stacked against them, and former international hero James Collins has called on Bale’s teammates to pitch in.
“You could hear the despondency in Gareth Bale’s voice and some of it could have been in his own performance,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “He will know that he hasn’t performed at the level we’re used to. But we can’t keep trusting Bale to take us out, do something magical or score a world goal.”
“We’re always talking about magic moments and even if he’s not playing well, it would be a brave man to take Bale out. However, I’m sure he’d be honest and say that wasn’t good enough and it was.” It’s not what we expected.”
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