Wales relegated from Nations League's top tier after losing final game to Poland ahead of World Cup

Wales have been relegated from the UEFA Nations League's top tier. Credit: PA

Wales have been relegated from the Nations League's top tier after losing to Poland.

The Welsh side suffered a 1-0 defeat at Cardiff City Stadium in what was their last game before the World Cup in Qatar.

Karol Swiderski, just as he had done when the two sides met in Wroclaw in June, came up with a second-half winner to seal Wales' demotion to League B.

Wales needed victory in Cardiff to secure their place in the top flight of European football and relegate Poland to the second tier.

Wales will play the US in their first World Cup match. Credit: PA

But Poland stood firm after Swiderski's strike and Wales could not find a way through, with Gareth Bale going the closest when heading against the crossbar in stoppage time.

This was Wales' final game before they head to a World Cup for the first time in 64 years.

Captain Bale returned to the starting line-up to win his 108th cap.

Poland, 26 on the FIFA rankings and seven places below Wales, were led by Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowksi and in need of a World Cup boost themselves following some stuttering form.

Wales will play their first World Cup match against United States on November 21 - less than two months away.

In his post-match press conference, Wales manager Robert Page said he was "disappointed that we lost the game and we got relegated but it's not the end of the world and we're now fully focused on the World Cup."

He added: "To compete at this level in this league, with the opposition we're up against, we need all our players fit and playing at their best. We haven't had that. We haven't had the players available, so let's have a little bit of reality to it.

"It's a great experience for those younger ones and that will hold us in good stead, for the next games we have to play in Nations League and hopefully then we get promotion back up to it.

"When we do get promotion back up we're in a better place from having gone through those experiences.