Wales vs Iran live updates

by 24britishtvNov. 25, 2022, 7:20 a.m. 16
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Is it time for Gareth Bale to relax? He has scored at the World Cup. Wales had not qualified since 1958 but the weight of all that time and expectation seemed light on his shoulders as he thundered the ball past Matt Turner from the spot to send the Red Wall of fans behind the goal shaking with energy. Personal achievement ticked off.

Bale won’t be satisfied, however. He believes Wales can qualify from the group and to do that he will need to keep extending himself in ways he hasn’t done all that often in recent years.

Though we have come to expect defining contributions from Bale, the sight of him completing full games in quick succession is becoming rarer. It is almost two years since Bale last played 90 minutes for his club — a 4-1 FA Cup win for Tottenham over Wycombe in January 25, 2021.

For Wales in the same period he has played eight full games. Three came in 14 days at the Euros last summer, with a further 86 minutes against Italy included too. He looked like he’d run out of gas in the last-16 tie against Denmark, and the challenge now will be to maintain freshness amid FIFA’s new edict to raise the time the ball is in play.

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