GARETH BALE was left “gutted” as Wales’ hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the World Cup suffered a huge blow after they were beaten by Iran.
The 10-man Dragons conceded twice late on and lost 2-0.
Wales were hoping to build on their improved second half showing in their draw with USA.
Instead, Robert Page’s side were second best and deservedly beaten.
Wayne Hennessey was sent off four minutes from the end of the 90 before the Middle East team took advantage by striking twice deep into stoppage-time.
Firstly, Roozbeh Cheshmi beat substitute goalkeeper Danny Wayne from distance in the 99th minute before Ramin Rezaeian chipped home Iran’s second.
It leaves Wales on one point from two games, which means they MUST beat England on Monday to have any chance of progressing.
Bale, who has so often been the hero over the years, wasn’t able to rescue Wales on this occasion and was left devastated by the result.
He told BBC Sport: “We are gutted, there is no other way to say it.
“We fought until the last second and we need to go again.
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“We are all gutted but we have to pick ourselves up straight away.
“It is going to be difficult for us for sure. We will have to see.
“What can I say? We recover and we have to go again.”
Asked about Wales’ chances of progressing to the knockouts, the 33-year-old said: “It’s going to be difficult for sure. It depends on the other game, but we’ll see.
“The red card changes the game completely. We let the first one in, and the second one doesn’t matter. We recover and we go again.”
Despite the difficult situation Wales find themselves in, boss Page isn’t giving up hope just yet.
He said: “We want to finish the competition on a high. It’s out of our hands for going through, but we want to finish with a good performance and a win.
“We’re low at the moment, but we’ll get them back up tomorrow for a tough game to finish with.”
Source: The Sun