WORLD CUP fans joked Wales took a huge advantage into their match with Iran due to the assistant referee’s surname.
Rob Page’s side came into their second group stage game off the back of a 1-1 opener against the USA.Gareth Bale of Wales and Ehsan Hajisafi of IR Iran exchange match pennants[/caption]
It left them in a must-win position at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Qatar.
And Wales will take any advantage or omen on offer – no matter how coincidental.
Mario Escobar was the man in the middle but one of his assistants is Trinidad’s Caleb Wales – leaving fans stunned.
One said: “Caleb Wales running one of the lines. Come on FIFA, where’s the neutrality!”
READ MORE WORLD CUP NEWS
Another said: “Enjoying that one of the assistant referees is called Caleb Wales.”
One added: “One of the linesmen is called Caleb Wales! It’s a fix!”
Another added: “Love that the assistant ref is called Caleb Wales.”
The game marked a landmark for captain Gareth Bale, who overtook team-mate Chris Gunter as Wales’ most-capped international.
Most read in Football
But it ultimately turned out to be a nightmare occasion for Bale, whose side suffered a heartbreaking 2-0 loss.
After keeper Wayne Hennessey was shown red on 86 minutes with the game level, Iran struck twice in added time.
Goals from Ramin Rezaeian and Rouzbeh Cheshmi leaves Wales’ World Cup hopes hanging by a thread.Gareth Bale is now Wales’ most-capped international[/caption]