'When Bale scores, he keeps scoring' - Giggs applauds Wales captain's character after late winner

Getty Images

Wales manager Ryan Giggs has applauded Gareth Bale’s character after he scored a late winner for his country against Azerbaijan.

The Real Madrid forward captained his nation to a hard-fought victory over the team that sit bottom of Group E in the quest for Euro 2020 qualification.

Wales went ahead in the first half courtesy of an own goal, but Mahir Emreli equalised just before the hour mark, forcing Bale to head home six minutes from time in order to pick up a vital three points.

"Obviously Gareth has scored so many important goals for Wales over the years," Giggs said to Sky Sports.

"Usually when he scores, he keeps scoring, so I was glad to see him score for Real Madrid last week.

"Just like the rest of the lads he showed great character, kept going to the end, I am really pleased for him.”

Giggs insisted, however, that while he was pleased with his captain, he was not happy with the performance in the first 45 minutes particularly.

"We were too hasty to get to the goal, too rushed,” Giggs continued.

“I've been in games like that before, you're never sure whether to stick or twist. There weren't enough players in good form in the first half.

"I wasn't happy with the first half. We didn't play well, and we didn't stick to the game plan.

"I knew 1-0 wouldn't be good enough, I was frustrated. We had a lot of possession, but we did not move the ball quick enough.

"We weren't patient and that is what they are good at, sitting back in their shape, win the ball and sprint forward.

"I am delighted with the three points, with the character we have shown.

Article continues below

"We always work hard, and we will learn from it. We will enjoy this because it's not easy to win points in this group."

Wales have gained six points from a possible 12 so far and find themselves three points adrift of Hungary and group favourites Croatia.

Giggs’ side host Belarus on Monday night next in a friendly, while they will have to wait until next month before they return to qualifying action, visiting Slovakia and hosting Croatia.