The Wales World Cup dream is over - but fans head home proud of their team

Wales fans always knew it would be difficult to get out of the group stage but they're still proud of their team. ITV News Correspondent Chloe Keedy reports

Wales always knew their final group game was going to be a tough one, but that doesn’t make their early exit from the World Cup any easier to take. 

That’s because, for Wales, this wasn’t just any World Cup. It was the first time they’d made it to the tournament since 1958. The fans travelled out in their thousands, millions more watched from home.

The whole country was behind those 26 players as they boarded a plane from Cardiff to Qatar, and prepared to take their places in history. 

Fans arriving in Doha could hardly contain their excitement. Just in case you didn’t see them coming in their trademark red bucket hats, they made absolutely sure you could hear them.

Whether in the pub, on the street or in the stands, when they got together they would always end up belting out their spine-tingling rendition of ‘Yma o Hyd’, which means ‘still here’.

On the pitch, though, the players never did manage to muster quite the same conviction.

Their first game against the USA ended in a draw, thanks to a late penalty taken by their captain and talisman Gareth Bale.

Wales struggled to shine during the groups. Credit: PA

If that raised Welsh hopes, the next match brought heartbreak.

Both goals in their 2-0 defeat by Iran were scored in the final minutes of injury time, leaving them with a mountain to climb in their final group game, which was, of course, against England. 

Wales needed to win, and hope that the other remaining group game would end in a draw.

The fans kept the faith, kept singing, and kept everything crossed for a miracle, but in the end England were by far the superior side. 

Their 3-0 victory knocked Wales out of the tournament, sending them home with just one point, and one goal to their name. 

As the fans left the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium for the final time last night, most said they were disappointed, but every single person I spoke to told me how proud they were of their country for getting to this World Cup, and how grateful they were to have been able to come along for the ride. 

The Wales World Cup fairytale is over. The fans are now on their way home. But they leave with some hope that their first World Cup in 64 years will not be their last.

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