London ball

Harry Wilson sets Wales up for Iran reaction to England maiming

Harry Wilson has warned Wales to expect a reaction from Iran following England’s World Cup defeat.

Iran were hit for six in their Group B opener as Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions issued a clear statement of intent in Qatar.

Wales will face Iran next Friday after their 1-1 draw against the United States in Doha.

Iran were beaten 6-2 by England in their World Cup opener (Mike Egerton/PA)

Fulham midfielder Wilson said: “It was a difficult result for them. England was always going to be difficult.

“They’ll be looking for a reaction and I think that’s what we’re going to see.

“It will be up to us to make sure we are fit to try and get the three points.”

Wales were once again indebted to talismanic skipper Gareth Bale to claim a vital World Cup point in their first final game in 64 years.

Bale won a penalty maneuvering cleverly between Tim Ream and the ball, then smashed the kick past goalkeeper Matt Turner for his 41st international goal in 109 appearances.

Wilson said of the former Real Madrid striker: “He deserves to be on this stage for what he has done at club level over the years and also for what he has done for our country. .

“He drags us into tough games and scored his goal.

“His performances over the years, I think he deserves to play the World Cup on the world stage before he retires.”

USA v Wales - 2022 FIFA World Cup - Group B - Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium
Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring Wales’ equalizer against the United States on Monday (Nick Potts/PA)

Wales were non-existent as an attacking force against the United States in the first half as the Dragons failed to find a way through the American lines.

Bale and Daniel James were left poorly isolated and Wales were unable to launch incisive counterattacks.

But Kieffer Moore’s half-time introduction changed the complexion of the contest as Wales had bodies around the 6ft 5in target, which brought others into play and placed their full-backs in forward positions.

Dragons defender Chris Mepham, who is also Moore’s team-mate at Bournemouth, said: “Kieffer made a huge difference for us and we looked a much better side in the second half.

“Any team that comes up against him is going to struggle. I probably know him better than anyone, playing with him week after week at club level.

Wales Media Activity - Vale Resort - Monday 14th November
Kieffer Moore turned things around for Wales after being introduced as a half-time substitute against USA (Ben Birchall/PA)

“I know he can be a handful and certainly as a defender I wouldn’t like to come up against that.

“Of course it’s not my decision to make, but we certainly looked a lot better in the second half.

“It wasn’t just Kieffer, I think we changed our mindset a bit.

“We knew we had to be more aggressive and braver with the ball and I think that coincided with Kieffer’s arrival.”