Wales edged past Ukraine 1-0 at home to end their 64-year wait for a place in the World Cup finals at the expense of the war-torn nation.

An own goal from Ukraine winger Andriy Yarmolenko, who deflected a Gareth Bale free-kick into his own net decided the contest where the visitors were the better side for much of the time.

It was a cruel end for Ukraine’s qualification effort who replicated the same gutsy performance that saw them overcome Scotland for a place in the playoff final.

There were touching scenes at the end of the game as Ukraine’s disappointed players showed their appreciation to their more than 2,000 supporters at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Wales had to keep their bearings in check against Ukraine despite the emotional build-up to the contest for each side.

The home crowd created a rousing atmosphere before the match with an outstanding rendition of their national anthem but despite the atmosphere, Ukraine hit the top gear first.

Wayne Hennessey was particularly busy in the opening half making three vital saves to keep the score level for Wales.

Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko had the ball in the net, from a quickly taken free-kick but his effort was ruled out as the Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz had not blown his whistle.

Wales grabbed the lead in the 34th minute against the run of play as Bale fired a low free-kick from 25 meters out and Yarmolenko’s attempted header flew into the net past the helpless Georgiy Bushchan.

Aaron Ramsey and Neco Williams missed chances to add to Wales’ lead as the hosts hung on for a famous win as Hennessey stopped Artem Dovbyk’s powerful header, six minutes from the end.

Wales who last appeared in the World Cup finals in 1958 will join USA, Iran, and England as they look to continue making history.