Qatar here they come – World Cup finals joy for Portsmouth pair as jubilant Wales qualify for first time since 1958



Rob Page’s side triumphed 1-0 over Ukraine courtesy of Andriy Yarmolenko’s first-half own goal in this evening’s World Cup Qualifier play-off.

It books them a spot at November’s tournament, where they will line up in Group B alongside England, Iran and the USA.

That means Pompey midfielder Joe Morrell is heading to the World Cup finals at the end of the year.

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The 25-year-old played the full match in Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat at Poland in the Nations League.

However, he wasn’t among the three substitutes called from the bench against Ukraine at a rain-hit Cardiff City Stadium.

Regardless, he continues to be an integral member of Page’s squad and can expect to be present for the World Cup finals, fitness permitting.

Morrell has 27 caps for his country and was a regular in the Euro 2020 Championships, where they were eliminated by Denmark in the last 16.

Joe Morrell is heading to the World Cup finals in Qatar following Wales’ qualification. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

There was also joy for ex-Pompey favourite Kit Symons, who has been boss Page’s assistant since May 2021.

Appointed ahead of the rearranged Euro 2000 finals, he has remained to work alongside Alan Knill in the Dragons’ backroom team.

Symons, who made 204 appearances for Pompey, combines international duties with work at Greek club Atromitos, where he has assisted Chris Coleman since January.

The 51-year-old, who spent 13 years at Fratton Park after rising through the ranks to skipper Pompey, earned 36 caps for Wales as a centre-half.

In April 2014, was inducted into the Fratton Park Hall of Fame, along with Ernie Butler, Arjan de Zeeuw, Billy Gilbert, Harry Harris and Nicky Jennings.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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