Wales vs Ukraine: All you need to know about the qualifier playoff final for FIFA World Cup 2022, updates

Wales beat Austria in the World Cup qualifier in March while Ukraine defeated Scotland in the other semifinal setting up the clash to decide the remaining team from Europe at Qatar 2022.

Gareth Bale-led Wales will look to end its 64-year wait to return to the World Cup against Ukraine, led by Andriy Yarmolenko, its second highest goalscorer of all time.

Gareth Bale-led Wales will look to end its 64-year wait to return to the World Cup against Ukraine, led by Andriy Yarmolenko, its second highest goalscorer of all time. | Photo Credit: GETTY IMAGES

Wales and Ukraine will fight out for the final spot at Qatar 2022 from Europe in the World Cup play-off final in Cardiff on Sunday.

Follow the highlights here: Wales 1-0 Ukraine playoff final Highlights: Wales qualifies for the FIFA World Cup after 64 years

Both the teams have qualified for one World Cup each, with Wales playing in the 1958 edition of the tournament and Ukraine featuring in Germany in 2006.

If Wales manages to win, it will break the record for the longest gap between two World Cup appearances for a nation, with it returning to the tournament after 64 years. Currently, Egypt and Norway share the record at 56 years.

The winner of this match will join Group B in the 2022 FIFA World Cup alongside England, Iran and the United States of America.


Rob Page's side beat Austria in the World Cup qualifier in March and had to wait for over two months to find its opponent amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine. When the other semifinal happened, Ukraine found a win despite crisis back home with a 3-1 scoreline at full-time against Scotland.

READ | Ukraine beats Scotland 3-1 in World Cup qualifying playoff

HEAD-TO-HEAD: Wales and Ukraine have met thrice in the past and Ukraine has won once and drawn the remaining two. Neither side has been able to get the better of each other in the competitive fixtures though, with the win coming in an International friendly.

  • Wales 1-1 Ukraine, March 28, 2001
  • Ukraine 1-1 Wales, June 6, 2001
  • Ukraine 1-0 Wales, March 28, 2016

The two draws came in the World Cup qualifiers for the 2002 World Cup at a time when Ukraine was managed by one of football's most respected and influential managers Valeriy Lobanovskyi. Under Petrakov, Ukraine will look to usher in a new era of optimistic football in times of crisis.

FORM GUIDE: The host Wales comes into the match with two wins in its last five matches and suffered a loss to Poland in the Nations League in its last match.

Ukraine, which had not played competitive football since November 17, 2021, announced its comeback in style with a comfortable win against Scotland and has not lost a match since July 4, 2021.

Wales last five matches:

  • Loss: Poland 2-1 Wales (UEFA Nations League)
  • Draw: Wales 1-1 Czech Republic (International Friendly)
  • Win: Wales 2-1 Austria (UEFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier)
  • Draw: Wales 1-1 Belgium (UEFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier)
  • Win: Wales 5-1 Belarus (UEFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier)

ALSO READ | Wales vs Ukraine: Talisman Bale ready for Wales’ World Cup bid

Ukraine last five matches:

  • Win: Scotland 1-3 Ukraine (UEFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier)
  • Win: Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-2 Ukraine (UEFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier)
  • Draw: Ukraine 1-1 Bulgaria (International Friendly)
  • Draw: Ukraine 1-1 Bosnia and Herzegovina (UEFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier)
  • Win : Finland 1-2 Ukraine (UEFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier)

Players to watch out for:

Gareth Bale, Wales: The captain of Wales led from the front in the previous World Cup Qualifier against Austria with a brace, including a stunning free kick-goal. He is currently the country's leading goalscorer.

Though he did not play in Wales' previous match against Poland (which Wales lost), he is expected to start with the manager banking on his form to turn fortunes for the country in the final.

Andriy Yarmolenko, Ukraine: When Ukraine beat Wales six years ago, it was Yarmolenko who had found the net. The 32-year old has remained a consistent forward for the side and scored a goal in the last match against Scotland as well.

With 45 international goals, he sits just three short of Andriy Shevchenko's goal tally, the highest goalscorer for Ukraine.

When and where to watch the FIFA World Cup playoff final?

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