Wales 0-2 Iran: Gareth Bale calls on Red Dragons to rally together for decisive England clash at World Cup
Gareth Bale says the Wales team are “gutted” after losing 2-0 to Iran in their second Group B game at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Wales’ hopes of reaching the knockout stages of their first World Cup in 64 years has suffered a huge blow after losing to Carlos Queiroz’s side.
The Dragons went down to ten men four minutes from time when goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was shown a straight red card, before Iran scored two stoppage time goals through Rouzbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian.
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Wales must now beat England in their final group game on Tuesday if they are to stand any chance of qualifying for the knockout stages.
Bale, who could be playing in his first and last World Cup, was very downbeat after the game but wants his team-mates to pick themselves up quickly for the crunch fixture.
“We are gutted, there is no other way to say it,” The Los Angeles FC forward told the BBC after the match.
“We fought until the last second and we need to go again.
“We are all gutted but we have to pick ourselves up straight away. It is going to be difficult for us for sure. We will have to see.
“What can I say? We recover and we have to go again.”
Wales manager Robert Page says he takes responsibility for Wales’ display that he calls “not acceptable”.
“Our performance before the red card was not acceptable,” he said. “We hoped it would all come together today, but we were nowhere near the levels we’ve set and the standards we’ve set in recent games.
“One or two you can carry, but when there are so many off days there is only one outcome.
“I always take responsibility, that’s my team, the sending off didn’t help of course but at that point we had five forwards on the pitch so couldn’t get a defensive shape.
“But yes I’ll always take responsibility for performances.
“It’s a difficult changing room at the minute but we will be ready [against England], it’s a local derby and a great game to finish on and we’ll be prepared to go.”
Iran boss Queiroz was understandably delighted to see his side win their first World Cup match after losing 6-2 to England in their opener on Monday.
He said: “This is just the beginning, but we need to finish the job.
“A wonderful day for us. All respect to my players, today showed they love to play football.
“Our players deserve to be supported. We want to play for the fans.”
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