Wales 1-0 Czech Republic: Daniel James nets the late winner to kick-start the World Cup qualifying campaign
Wales 1-0 Czech Republic: Daniel James heads into Gareth Bale’s cross to grab a vital late winner against 10-man visitors to kick-start their World Cup qualifying campaign after Conor Roberts also saw red
- Gareth Bale was refused a few meters away just before half-time
- Patrik Schick saw red early in the second half for lashing out at Conor Roberts
- Wales itself was cut to 10 with Roberts getting yellow twice
- Daniel James scored late and took three crucial points for Rob Page’s men
Gareth Bale believes that playing in a World Cup for Wales would be the seal of his brilliant career and here the captain showed how much it means to him to achieve that.
Bale’s brilliant cross enabled Daniel James from 1.5 meters to head the only goal nine minutes before the end and score three invaluable points against the Czech Republic, after visitors ‘Patrik Schick and Wales’ Connor Roberts were sent away.
But just as important was the sight of Bale pumping his fists wildly after winning a throw-in for his team in stoppage time shortly before Joe Rodon’s miraculous block from Ondrej Celustka.
Daniel James secured a crucial win for Wales by heading in a winner with just nine minutes to go
Manchester United winger James jumped impressively to get a header past the goalkeeper
The Czech Republic was reduced to 10 men after Patrik Schick lashed out at Conor Roberts
WALES: Ward 6.5; Mepham 6 (Moore 57, 6), Rodon 7, J Lawrence 6.5; Roberts 6, Morrell 5.5, Ampadu 6, N Williams 6.5; Bale 6.5, Wilson 5.5, Jonathan Williams, 76, 6.5), James 7
Subs Not Used: Levitt, Johnson, Sheehan, Tom Lawrence, Norrington-Davies, Cabango, Hennessey, Adam Davies, Gunter
Scorers: James (81)
Sent: Roberts (77)
CZECH REPUBLIC: Vaclik, Coufal (Otter 87), Kudela (Barak 87), Celustka, Boril, Holes (Krmencik 53), Soucek, Provod, Darida, Jankto, Schick;
Subs not used: Pekhart, Zima, Pavlenka, Mandous, Pesek, Masopust, Pavelka, Kaderabek, Stronati
Sent from: Schick (48)
Booked: Zima, Jankto
Referee: Ovidiu Alin Hategan (Romania)
Some have questioned Bale’s application while on loan at Tottenham, but his commitment to Wales is beyond question as he tries to lead them to their first World Cup since 1958 and only to the second in their history.
‘It was chaotic, especially in the second half, but we had to win the game and [there were] two pieces of magic, ”said Bale. “We showed heart and desire to match a very physical Czech team.”
The Czechs, including defender Ondrej Kudela in the starting match, decided not to take the knee and instead point to the UEFA ‘Respect’ logo on their sleeves.
Slavia Prague’s Kudela was accused of racial abuse by Rangers player Glen Kamara during a Europa League game this month. Slavia denied the “disgusting charge” of racism.
Last weekend, Rabbi Matondo and Ben Cabango from Wales were racially abused on social media. Separately, Matondo was sent home from the Dragons’ training camp on Monday, along with Hal Robson-Kanu and Tyler Roberts, for breaking team protocols.
The Czechs were on top early on and Jakub Jankto lost two excellent chances before Wales got underway. Neco Williams went for Bale and the captain missed his volley from close range, allowing Tomas Vaclik to push the ball over. Then James demanded a penalty, although replays showed that Tomas Soucek touched the ball.
Schick was shown the red card for pushing Roberts in the face in the 47th minute as they competed for a high ball on a free kick. The Czechs still looked dangerous and James Lawrence produced a brilliant last ditch challenge to rob Lukas Provod after the winger bypassed Danny Ward. Provod was subsequently denied a penalty after Lawrence assaulted him. Roberts was booked again in the 77th minute when his waving arm hit Soucek’s cheek.
Gareth Bale came painfully close to a goal, but had his attempt over the bar
Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward did just enough to stop Lukas Provod from scoring an opener
James got a penalty scream when he went into the box in the second half
Wales won when Bale’s glorious ball was headed past Vaclik by James. In injury time, Celustka was denied by Rodon’s stunning block in the six-yard box. Like Bale before, Rodon celebrated as if he had scored.
“ Defenders are proud of that kind of performance, they would have loved those last minutes, and Joe Rodon’s block at the end was as good as a goal, ” said Rob Page, who continues to lead the team with Ryan Giggs. . leave after his arrest in November.
“Ryan set something in motion a few years ago when he took over and we kept the wheels going.”
The visitors themselves were then denied a penalty when Provod went under in the area
Wales lost their numerical advantage when Conor Roberts was sent off for two yellow cards