Bale: I did not dive to win penalty against Scotland

The speedy Tottenham winger insists that he did not simulate to win a spot-kick for his team during the Dragons' dramatic win against the Scots in Friday's World Cup qualifier
Wales international Gareth Bale has hit back at claims that he dived to win a penalty during his team's World Cup qualifier against local rivals Scotland.

The spot-kick, successfully converted by Bale, spurred a stirring comeback for Wales, who clinched the game 2-1 after a superb left-foot strike from the 23-year old in the 88th minute.

The pacy Tottenham wideman went down in the area after a challenge from Scotland midfielder Shaun Maloney, who appeared to make little contact, although the Wigan player has admitted he probably did clip Bale.

And Bale himself has stated that an opponent was responsible for his tumble.

10/1 Gareth Bale is 10/1 with William Hill to score the first goal for Wales against Croatia on Tuesday
"Somebody clipped me and I went over. It was a simple penalty and it was nice to get up and slot it away," Bale told the Daily Mail.

Scotland were on course to bag all three points after James Morrison put them ahead in the 27th minute and Steven Fletcher thought he had doubled their lead until his header was controversially disallowed.

Then referee Florian Meyer pointed to the spot when Bale fell under Maloney's challenge.

Bale's Wales team-mate Joe Allen has, however, backed the official.

"My instinct was that it was a penalty. It was a difficult decision, but it looked like his ankle was clipped," the Liverpool midfielder said.

Bale's overall performance in the tense fixture has earned him praise from Wales manager Chris Coleman, who has vouched that the former Southampton player will go on to become an international legend like Ryan Giggs and Ian Rush before him.

"It’s not a case of can Gareth be like them, he will be," said Coleman.