17 November

On this day in 1993 Wales suffered World Cup qualification heartbreak losing 1-2 to Romania in the Arms Park, Cardiff.

The defeat meant Terry Yorath’s men finished outside the qualification spots in Group 4 and missed out on USA ’94.

The group had started off badly for Wales as a 1-5 defeat in Bucharest against a Romanian side who had just missed out on qualifying for Euro 92.

But four successive victories against the Faroe Islands, Cyprus and back to back wins over Belgium had seen Welsh hopes were raised once more.

Going into the last match, four countries were still in with a chance of qualification from Group 4: Wales, Romania, the Representation of Czechs and Slovaks (RCS) and Belgium.

A win for Wales would take them to the World Cup for the first time since 1958 and the Arms Park in Cardiff was full to the rafters long before kick off.

Wales started brightly but it was the visitors who opened the scoring as Gheorghe Hagi took advantage of an uncharacteristic Neville Southall mistake after 32 minutes.

Yorath’s men refused to give in and with 40,000 Welshmen and women urging them on, Dean Saunders managed to bring Wales level after 61 minutes, latching on to a Gary Speed header to fire home from all of two yards.

A draw wouldn’t be enough for Wales and so they still surged forward looking for the goal which would take them to the USA.

Two minutes after drawing level, the Arms Park erupted as Dan Petrescu brought Speed down in the box and the Swiss referee awarded Wales a penalty.

However, Paul Bodin, who had scored all three of his previous penalties for Wales, struck his penalty against the Romanian crossbar.

And with Wales’ players still chasing that elusive goal, Florin Raducioiu struck a late winner for Romania leaving Welsh hopes dashed … again!

Wales: Southall, Phillips, Bodin (Allen 69′), Melville, Young, Symons (Goss 53′), Horne, Saunders, Rush, Speed, Giggs.

Romania: Prunea, Petrescu, Prodan, Belodedici, Selymes, Sabau, Lupescu, Popescu, Hagi, Raducioiu, Dumitrescu.


From The Archive

In 2009, Sgorio’s Malcolm Allen went to Swindon to visit Paul Bodin and to discuss that penalty!