Wales, led by Real Madrid footballer Gareth Bale, who returned to the pitch two months later, met Belarus in Cardiff (5-1) and approached the play-off of the qualifying phase that can take him to the World Cup of Qatar 2022.
The Welsh team, who have not played a final tournament since Sweden 1958, their only appearance, is second in Group E with three points ahead of the Czech Republic. Belgium beat Belarus and sealed their qualification as first. Among the Welsh and the Czechs is the second position, pending definition at the last date. Robert Page’s team is served by the draw in Cardiff against the Belgian team, who will face the duel with nothing at stake. The Czech Republic hosts Estonia.
Bale’s return propelled Wales. The Real Madrid player, who reached one hundred games for his national team, participated in the goals of his team that put the victory on track in the first twenty minutes.
Gareth Bale, who had not jumped onto the pitch since last September 8, precisely with Wales, in the game against Estonia, generated the goal that opened the scoring after three minutes. He bounced a corner badly cleared by the visitor’s defense. Ben Davies took advantage of the rebound to shoot at goal from the edge. Goalkeeper Sergei Chernik missed the ball, Aaron Ramsey took advantage of the error and took it to the net.
Just over a quarter of an hour it took Page’s set to score the second. Bale assisted Liverpool defender Neco Williams to make room to shoot. The Belarusian goalkeeper failed again, unable to save the shot.
Bale stayed in the locker room at intermission. With the crash tilted and Tuesday’s meeting with Belgium in the offing, Page didn’t want to force it. It was not necessary. A few minutes after the restart, a hand from Ruslan Yudenkov was sanctioned with a penalty that Ramsey transformed.
The crash broke. The spaces were enlarged and both had occasions to enlarge their accounts. Ben Davies, in 77, scored the fourth with a header after a corner thrown by Harry Wilson and ten later, in a counterattack culminating in a shot by Artem Kontsevoy after receiving a ball from Evgeniy Yablonski, he scored the visiting honor goal.
But immediately afterwards, Wales sealed the win through Connor Roberts who took advantage of an assist from Harry Wilson to beat Chernik again and certify the local triumph that will have to ensure the play-off against Belgium on the last date.
– Data sheet:
5 – Wales: Danny Ward; Connor Roberts, Ben Davies, Joe Rodon, Neco Williams; Ethan Ampadu, Aaron Ramsey (Joe Morrell, m.71), Joe Allen, Daniel James (Tyler Roberts, m.76); Gareth Bale (Brennan Johnson, m.46) and Harry Wilson.
Selector: Rob Page
1 – Belarus: Sergei Chernik; Nikolai Zolotov (Roman Yuzepchuk, m.71), Maksim Shvetsov, Nikita Naumov, Ruslan Yudenkov (Artem Kontsevoy, m.82); Kiril Pechenin, Aleksandr Selyava, Evgeniy Yablonski, Vladislav Kilmovich (Max Ebong, m.70); Pavel Sedko (Dmitri Antilevski, m.60) and Vitali Liasakovich (Ivan Bakhar, m.81).
Selector Georgi kindratiev
Goals: 1-0, m.3: Aaron Ramsey; 2-0, m.20: Neco Williams; 3-0, m.50 Ramsey, from a penalty; 4-0, m.77: Ben Davies; 4-1, m.87: Kontsevoy; 5-1, m.89: Connor Roberts
Referee: Maurizio Mariani (ITA). He showed a yellow card to Nikolai Zolotov, Dmitri Antilevski and Max Ebong from Belarus and Ethan Ampadu from Wales.
Incidents: match of the seventh day of Group E of the European zone of the qualifying phase for the Qatar World Cup 2022 played at the Cardiff City stadium. EFE