Wales end 64 years of World Cup hurting with clash against United States

AP - Rui Vieira

A 17-year-old Brazilian named Pelé scored the only goal of the quarter-final that ended the run of Wales at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. The teenager went on to inspire his team to claim their first World Cup trophy at the expense of the hosts in the final. There was also glory for Pelé and Brazil in 1962 and 1970.

And while the Brazilians have notched up two further triumphs since Pelé's heyday, Wales have languished in the World Cup wilderness.

But on Monday night at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium just outside Doha, they will take to the World Cup stage for the first time since the heartbreak oft the Nya Ullevi Stadion in Gothenburg when they play the United States in their opening game in Group B.

"It's incredible to be taking part after such a long wait," said skipper Gareth Bale ahead of the game.

"The whole team is exicted and really looking forward to the game."

History

"It's a historic moment," added the former Real Madrid star. "We've come close so many times but we're all keen to enjoy the experience."

Wales will be without midfield lynchpin Joe Allen. The 32-year-old is recovering from a hamstring injury that has kept him on the sidelines since September.

He could be back for the second Group B game against Iran on Friday or the final pool match against England on 29 November.

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