Tuesday, November 29, 2022

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Gareth Bale and Kieffer Moore both start for Wales

Both Gareth Bale and Kieffer Moore will take on Iran (10am) as Wales seek their first World Cup win in 64 years.

Rob Page opted to put Moore on the bench against the USA, but the Bournemouth man’s strong performance in the second half, in which Wales looked much improved, got him a place.

However, there is no room for Joe Allen. The Swansea man, who has barely played this season, was brought to the tournament injured and hopes to be fit again later in the tournament.

Wales were overwhelmed by the event in the first half against the USA, falling behind to a Timothy Weah goal after a wonderful work by Chelsea man Christian Pulisic.

Looking like they could be swallowed, they rallied and produced a much more encouraging performance in the second half that was rewarded with Bale’s late penalty.

A late Brennan Johnson chance created by game-changing Moore could have won it for Wales but Page said it was a good result for his side to salvage a point.

“Finding a goal behind against a good team like USA showed character, respect to the lads for coming back and taking a point,” he said.

“When we got the penalty, we knew who took it, a million percent. He’s never let us down, has he? It’s all about Bale and rightly so.”

Iran, meanwhile, are trying to recover from a poor opening round in which almost everything went wrong as they lost 6-2 to England, leaving their already tenuous hopes of progressing in tatters.

Alireza Beiranvand, who suffered a severe blow to the head in the first half that forced him to change places, is replaced in goal by Hossein Hosseini.

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