thumbnail Hello,
Live

Friendlies

  • March 5, 2014
  • • 19:45
  • • Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff (Caerdydd)
  • Referee: E. Saar
  • • Attendance: 13219
3
FT
1

Wales 3-1 Iceland: Bale stars in rare Welsh win

Wales 3-1 Iceland: Bale stars in rare Welsh win

The world's most expensive player scored one and assisted another as Chris Coleman's side recorded just their fifth win under the manager with an impressive display on Wednesday

Gareth Bale played a part in all three goals as Wales triumphed 3-1 over Iceland in their international friendly on Wednesday.

The Real Madrid winger was in unstoppable form and provided the assist as James Collins gave the hosts an early lead at the Cardiff City Stadium.

MATCH VIEW
By Theo Squires

The few Wales fans present at the Cardiff City Stadium tonight will be going home very happy after an impressive performance by Chris Coleman's side, filled with plenty of positives.

Gareth Bale was unsurprisingly the star performer, scoring one magnificent goal and creating the other two as Wales ran out comfortable 3-1 victors against an uninspiring Iceland team. Meanwhile, Emyr Huws will have impressed many with a confident debut performance.

It could so easily have been more than three, and with the Welsh improving game-on-game, they may just end their 58-year wait to qualify for a international tournament at Euro 2016.

It might only have been Iceland, but who would bet against them when they can boast the world's most expensive footballer amongst their ranks?
Ashley Williams inadvertently put the ball in his own net following a Johann Gudmundsson shot before the break, but Sam Vokes headed Wales back in front on 64 minutes after Bale had forced Kari Arnason to clear off the line.

And the 24-year-old rounded off his superb display by netting a fine solo effort 20 minutes from time to get Wales' preparations for the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign off to the best possible start.

Chris Coleman handed a Wales debut to Manchester City youngster Emyr Huws, currently on loan at Birmingham City, while Bale started on the right, fresh from a thrilling Madrid derby at the weekend.

And the former Tottenham man was instrumental as Wales broke the deadlock in the 12th minute, whipping in a sublime free kick for Collins to head home his third international goal.

Iceland have risen 50 ranking places in the last 12 months and only missed out on a trip to the World Cup at the play-off stage, but they struggled to put Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey under any pressure in the early stages.

Bale's threat, meanwhile, was constant and he stung the palms of Hannes Halldorsson with a dipping strike from distance 18 minutes in before Joe Allen scooped an effort over the crossbar.

But the hosts' lead was cancelled out in the 26th minute, when a tame Gudmundsson strike was deflected beyond Hennessey by the outstretched boot of captain Williams amid suspicions of offside against the visitors in the build-up.

Lars Lagerback's men dominated possession for the remainder of the half, but were lucky not to concede a penalty 10 minutes from the break when Vokes was brought down by a combination of Icelandic defenders.

Hal Robson-Kanu's mazy run nine minutes into the second half looked set to unlock the Iceland defence, but an eventual prod with the outside of the boot sent the ball wide of the right-hand post from the edge of the penalty area.

Hennessey recklessly rushed off his line and failed to gather the ball shortly after the hour mark, but was spared his blushes by a Danny Gabbidon clearance.

And Wales restored their lead moments later – Vokes heading into the back of the net after Arnason had done well to clear off the line from a Bale strike.

Bale's performance was complete in 70th minute when he embarked on a run that started in his own half, surged forward and stroked the ball beyond Halldorsson from just inside the box.

Robson-Kanu tried his luck from distance as Wales continued to threaten, but his fizzing effort was punched clear.

Birkir Bjarnason saw a drilled effort drift wide of the right-hand upright in stoppage time as Iceland feel to a third consecutive defeat.

Related

From the web