CARDIFF, WALES - Sunday, June 5, 2022: Wales' captain Gareth Bale celebrates with team-mates Connor Roberts, Kieffer Moore, Chris Gunter, Ethan Ampadu and Neco Williams after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifying Play-Off Final match between Wales and Ukraine at the Cardiff City Stadium. Wales won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Neco Williams “relentless” as Wales book World Cup spot after 64-year wait

Neco Williams produced an outstanding display as Wales sealed history on Sunday night, with a 1-0 victory over Ukraine clinching their place at the World Cup.

Andriy Yarmolenko’s first-half own goal was enough to decide a hard-fought clash in Cardiff, with Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey delivering a stunning performance.

After a long qualifying campaign, this playoff final saw Wales book their return to the World Cup after 64 years away – their last appearance in the finals being 1958, when they reached the quarter-finals in Sweden.

It was a triumphant moment for Rob Page, his staff and the players at the final whistle, with Liverpool full-back Williams at the heart of the celebrations.

The 21-year-old, who spent the second half of last season earning promotion with Fulham, was one of Wales’ standout performers at left wing-back.

His display caught the eye of Liverpool and Wales fans alike, with many taking to social media to praise the young defender:

Williams himself described it as a “dream come true” as he reflected on Wales’ qualification on Instagram, and he now stands to play a key role for his country in Qatar.

Their progress to the World Cup may force Williams’ hand when it comes to his future at Liverpool, though, with the need for regular game time paramount ahead of the mid-season tournament.

The club are seeking a fee in the region of £15 million for their academy graduate, who has already made 33 appearances for the first team.

No destinations have been mooted yet, though Fulham could return with a permanent bid after an impressive loan and their return to the Premier League, while Leeds, Southampton and Aston Villa have been linked in the past.