World Cup - Wales

How can Wales qualify for the World Cup knockout stages?

James Cormack
Bale earned a draw against USA
Bale earned a draw against USA / John Todd/ISI Photos/GettyImages

"A storm, a red storm, is coming to the gates of Qatar," Michael Sheen promised as he gave a rousing speech to the Welsh national team ahead of their first World Cup appearance since 1958.

Emboldened by the "spirit of '58", Rob Page's side produced a battling display upon their return to the grandest of spectacles in all of sports.

What do Wales need to reach the knockout stages? Here's the lowdown.

Wales at the World Cup so far

The moment Welsh football supporters had been waiting 64 years for arrived on Monday night as they took on the United States in an evenly-matched contest on paper.

However, it was the USA that dominated proceedings in the first half and they took a deserved lead through Timothy Weah before the break.

The introduction of target man Kieffer Moore at half-time inspired Page's men, who were superior for much of the second-half. Both Moore and Ben Davies came close to equalising before their previously quiet hero won and scored the subsequent penalty with ten minutes remaining.

Gareth Bale's emphatic spot-kick sent an entire nation into raptures as Wales claimed a point on Matchday 1.

However, things did not work out so well on Friday in the second group game against Iran.

Wales couldn't muster up many goalscoring opportunities and their task of holding onto a point was made even trickier when Wayne Hennessey came charging out of his box and wildly collided with Mehdi Taremi.

Initially only a yellow card, a VAR check saw the decision upgraded to a straight red and substitute Dragons goalie Danny Ward was powerless to prevent two late Iran strikes. Roozbeh Cheshmi lashed one in from distance before Ramin Rezaeian dinked in another for a late but deserved 2-0 win.

Wales remaining World Cup group fixtures

A tough test arrives in the form of England to round off the group. While Wales will undoubtedly be desperate to get one over their neighbours, Gareth Southgate's side have started the tournament in ominous form.

They smashed Iran 6-2 with a wonderful display of attacking intent and vigour and take on the United States on Friday as big favourites to earn three points.

How can Wales qualify for the World Cup knockout stages?

Wales now sit bottom of Group B with one point from their opening two games but now need a convoluted set of results to progress through to the last 16.

The biggest task will be their own as they look to beat England in their final group game, but the Dragons will need a favour when the United States face Iran on the final matchday of Group B on Tuesday.

Iran are the current favourites to progress alongside Iran with three points, but if Wales were to beat England healthily and the USA beat Iran, Wales could squeeze through.