Wales vs. Ukraine live score, updates, highlights & lineups from FIFA World Cup playoff match

Wales vs. Ukraine live score, updates, highlights & lineups from FIFA World Cup playoff match

Wales take on Ukraine today in their European play-off for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar at the Cardiff City Stadium, with the victors guaranteed a place in the finals. Both sides will be desperate to take the final step and reach the competition proper after putting in so much hard work across the qualification phase.

Wales have once again defied all expectations to reach this stage, finishing second in a tough qualifying group that contained Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia and Belarus. Playing their play-off semi-final in March, Robert Page’s men defeated Austria in Cardiff 2-1 to move a step closer to reaching their first World Cup since 1958. 

On the other hand, visitors Ukraine summoned great strength to defeat Scotland in their semi-final, recording a comfortable 3-1 victory at Hampden Park despite some of their players not having played a competitive match in months due to the ongoing invasion of their country by Russia. 

Oleksandr Petrakov will be hoping for a repeat performance today, which would set Ukraine up for a first World Cup finals appearance since 2006. Expectedly, this is going to be an extremely tight match between two evenly matched opponents. With so much on the line, there will undoubtedly be plenty of drama as the match unfolds in front of a raucous crowd in the Welsh capital. 

The Sporting News is following the match live and providing live score updates and commentary below.

MORE: UEFA Nations League 2022 fixtures, results, tables

Wales vs. Ukraine live score

 1H 2H Final
Wales  1  –   –
Ukraine  0  –   –


WAL – Andriy Yarmolenko (OG) – 34th min

Wales vs. Ukraine live commentary, highlights from World Cup playoff final

We’re underway!

HALF-TIME: Wales 1-0 Ukraine

45th + 1 min: James curls a shot from the edge of the box but it’s an easy save. 

43rd min: A few whistles from the home crowd for half-time already. Wales need it with Ukraine putting pressure on and they win a corner. A dangerous ball into the six-yard box is begging to be hit but Hennessey gathers.

40th min: Ukraine feel they should have a penalty. Joe Allen clears the ball in the box but Yarmolenko sneaks in ahead of him and just takes it away from him before he can connect. After a VAR check it’s not given. Wales breathe a huge sigh of relief.

38th min: That goal has certainly got the home crowd going. Wales need to be careful here and not get caught on the break.

34th min: GOAL! A Bale free-kick from distance on the left side takes a deflection off Andriy Yarmolenko, who throws himself at the ball but inadvertently heads it past his goalkeeper. The crowd expected something to happen when Bale stood over that ball and he delivered.

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31st min: Everton defender Vitaliy Mykolenko gets a yellow card for an elbow on James.

30th min: Hennessey is having a busy game and looks much more alert than Wales’ backline at present. A quick one-two in the box sees Tsygankov race through into the box but the goalkeeper is off his line quickly to block the shot.

28th min: A huge chance for Ukraine as Tsygankov beats the offside trap and is through on goal but when one on one with Hennessey he hits it with his weaker right foot and puts too much curl on it as the ball goes well wide of the far post. The flag goes up for offside but replays showed that looked to be the wrong call. A big let off for Wales.

24th min: Aaron Ramsey delivers an inviting cross into the box from the right but it’s just over Bale’s head.

23rd min: Viktor Tsyhankov crosses across the box to Vyacheslav Karavaev, who has two attempts at finding the target but fluffs his lines and Hennessey catches the ball with ease.

21st min: Bale has been quiet so far but picks up the ball from 30 yards out in space and decides to let fly… but the ball goes well over and he apologies to his teammates.

19th min: Bushchan fell awkwardly at that clearance and is down receiving treatment on his ankle. He’s ok to carry on for now though it seems.

16th min: James tries to find a way down the left but has to settle for a corner. A short one’s taken and the cross comes in but Heorhiy Bushchan comes for the ball and flaps at it. In the end it’s ruled offside but that was hardly convincing from the goalkeeper.

12th min: Roman Yaremchuk times his run to perfection to beat the offside trap and from the right wing unleashes a hard, low shot which Hennessey does well to get down to deny him.

9th min: At the other end Viktor Tsyhankov creates some space and shoots from the edge of the box. Hennessey tips the ball beyond the post even though it looked to be going wide anyway. The resulting corner is cleared.

7th min: Great work from Neco Williams on the left wing sees him take down a long pass from Gareth Bale, beat his man, but then drags his shot wide of the near post from distance.

3rd min: Oleksandr Zinchenko takes a quick free-kick from 30 yards out that catches Wayne Hennessy off guard and it goes in! But the referee rules it out because that free-kick was taken too quickly. The follow up is saved by the Burnley stopper.

2nd min: Some early bookings already as Joe Allen gets a yellow for a late tackle. Dan James can’t believe his teammate’s been booked and in voicing his frustrations to the referee he also gets carded.

We’re underway!

3mins from KO: Both teams are out and the national anthems are being played. A few nervous faces in the lineups that’s for sure…

15mins to KO: Both sets of players have just about finished their warm ups and are about to head back into the changing rooms for their final preparations. No doubt that there’ll be some nerves building in both dressing rooms ahead of kick-off!

30mins from KO: For the visitors, three straight away competitive victories will have Ukraine full of hope as they take to the field tonight in south Wales. All three of those away matches have seen them net two or more goals, including their fantastic 3-1 victory at Hampden Park against Scotland last midweek. 

After netting the opener in that game, forward Andriy Yarmolenko made it 45 goals for Ukraine across 107 internationals. That total means that he now sits just three goals behind Andriy Shevchenko’s record tally of 48 strikes for Ukraine. 

45mins from KO: With a first World Cup appearance since Sweden hosted the showpiece event in 1958 on the line tonight, Wales will likely need their fans to be in full voice at the Cardiff City Stadium to push them past plucky Ukraine.

However, the home fans won’t be so keen to hear that in three previous international meetings with their opponents, Wales have failed to win on each occasion. The only previous meeting on Welsh soil saw the game end 1-1 during the 2000/01 World Cup qualification cycle thanks to goals either side of half-time from John Hartson and Andriy Shevchenko.  

1hr from KO: Big stories from both sides’ team selections for this crunch clash. Quartet Gareth Bale, Joe Allen, Ben Davies, and Aaron Ramsey all return for Wales, whereas the visitors name an unchanged lineup from their midweek win over Scotland.

1hrs 10 mins from KO: Ukraine names their starting line-up as they bid to reach the World Cup in Cardiff this evening.

1 hrs 25 mins from KO: We have team news! Wales name their starting eleven for the World Cup play-off final this evening. Gareth Bale captains the side, whilst Aaron Ramsey takes up his place in midfield.

1hrs 35 min from KO: The whole country of Ukraine and its diaspora will be behind them tonight, as Oleksandr Petrakov demonstrates in his pre-match press conference. Should Ukraine qualify for the World Cup, it would be the first time they have featured in the finals since 2006. 

1hrs 45 min from KO: The Wales players have arrived in Cardiff ahead of one of the most important matches in their footballing history as a nation.

1hrs 45 min from KO: As always, Gareth Bale is expected to be a key man for Wales today should he get the nod to start. Can the 32-year-old add to his 38 goals in 102 games this evening?

2hrs from KO: Welcome to The Sporting News’ live blog coverage of the FIFA World Cup play-off final between Wales and Ukraine, team news will be with you at the top of the hour!

Wales vs. Ukraine lineups

Wales starting lineup (3-5-2): Hennessey (GK) โ€” Rodon, Ampadu, Davies โ€” Roberts, Ramsey, Allen, N Williams, James โ€” Bale, Moore.

Ukraine starting lineup (4-1-4-1):  Bushchan (GK) โ€” Karavaev, Zabarnyi, Matvienko, Mykolenko โ€” Malinovskyi โ€” Stepanenko, Zinchenko, Yarmolenko, Tsygankov โ€” Yaremchuk.

MORE: UEFA Nations League TV channel and live stream in USA

How to watch Wales vs. Ukraine

DateJune 05June 05June 05June 06
Time17:0012:00 ET12:00 ET03:00 AET
TV channelSky Sports Main Event/ITVESPN 2TLNOptus Sport
StreamingNOW TV/ITV PlayerESPN+TLN, UEFA.tvOptus Sport

In the US, televised World Cup matches are also available on fuboTV, which also offers a free trial to new subscribers.