Can Wales qualify for 2022 World Cup? What are the next fixtures? All you need to know after draw with Estonia
Wales’ poor result leaves them hoping for a miracle after Belgium took pole position in Group E.
Rob Page’s side crafted a handful of chances but were unable to breach Karl Hein’s goal, in a result that can only be seen as points dropped against the Group E’s bottom side.
In the other match across the group, Belgium beat Belarus 1-0 in the neutral venue of Kazan with Dennis Praet scoring the only goal.
What do Wales need to do to qualify?
Wales are now at the halfway point of Group E but are now consigned to the fact they are likely to only compete for second-place with the Czech Republic.
Belgium are top of the group with 16 points from their six matches, the Czechs are behind them on seven points from five games. Wales have the same amount of points but are behind on goal difference.
Roberto Martínez’s men require just a point against Estonia, whose only point in qualifying has come against Wales, to qualify automatically.
In an alternative route of qualification, ten runners-up will take part in the play-offs in March, along with two Nations League winners.
Wales have that to fall back on after their success in 2020. France, Belgium, Italy and Spain, all of whom won their groups, currently occupying a top two spot, which confirms their involvement either automatically or through the play-offs.
What are the next fixtures?
Next month is when the next international period takes place. Up next is a trip to the Eden Arena in Prague on Friday, October 8. It is crucial that maximum points are picked up as it gives Wales a chance to put a gap between themselves and their rivals for second place.
They remain on the road when they travel to the A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn three days later on Monday, October 11. Given the difficulty they faced in Cardiff, Wales are now fully aware they are of the challenge they offer.
Qualification wraps up in November with Wales finishing the campaign at home. Belarus are the visitors on Saturday, 13 November, before Belgium rolls into town on Tuesday, 16 November.
For their performance in the Nations League, Wales are all-but-guaranteed a place in March’s play-offs.
Their problem is that as it stands they would have to play the one-legged knockout semi-final away from home as an unseeded side in the draw. According to International FIFA rankings experts ‘We Global Football’ it is 74.4% likely that Wales will be playing away in the play-offs meanwhile their hopes are hosting a play-off are slim at 25.6%.
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