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By Dafydd Pritchard
BBC Sport Wales at Cardiff City Stadium
Gareth Bale saved Wales because his late goal from a home draw Azerbaijan snatched victory to give their bid to qualify for Euro 2020 a lift.
Ryan Giggs’ unwanted took a first-half lead to fashion as before rolling out beyond a wrong-footed Salahat Agayev in the Azerbaijan target, the ball looped from a Bale shot that was deflected and hit an undercover Pavlo Pashayev.
But that papered over the cracks of a sloppy display from Wales, who conceded a equaliser as Neil Taylor saw Mahir Emreli score on the rally after Wayne Hennessey could only parry his first work that was weak and gave away the ball.
But with a little over five seconds ago, Wales captain and all time leading goalscorer Bale came to their rescue once more because he headed in from close range, through the crossbar, to spark wild parties which showed how near the hosts had begun to dismissing their chances of qualifying for Euro 2020.
Wales is lifted by the results up to third in Group E – amount on six points with fourth-placed Slovakia – while the thumping of Croatia off win against Slovakia sees the World Cup finalists combine leaders Hungary on two points.
Back-to-back defeats against Hungary and Croatia in June – the first time Wales had dropped consecutive qualifiers for decades – had abandoned Giggs’ side for the rest of this campaign.
The manager himself confessed Wales would have to”win just about any game now”, starting with victory here against a lowly Azerbaijan aspect who had never won a European Championship qualifier from house.
Wales struggled to impose themselves despite being 85 places above their opponents in the world ranks.
It was fitting, therefore, the opening goal ought to arrive at these farcical conditions.
Pashayev was not even looking at the ball when it fell down from a wonderful height and hit him across the side of his mind before dribbling to the net.
Wales could laugh at their good luck, however, it was also a diversion from their stressing failure to create real chances against resistance.
Bale looked more powerful than he had done in June however, despite providing a couple of sights on target to Tom Lawrence, the Derby completing lacked the cutting edge that was necessary.
As long as they headed, Wales weren’t too concerned. As long as success was secure, there was expectation, A persuasive performance could have raised spirits but.
After Azerbaijan hit to stun the Cardiff City Stadium into 18, but that all changed after a hour.
Taylor made the mistake giving away possession, and after a through-ball out of Ramil Sheydaev Taylor nor Chris Mepham could catch Emreli, who capitalised on the inability of Hennessey.
A feeling of foreboding rippled round the ground. Could it be a return to the bad old times for Wales?
Despite the palpable tension, the home fans refused to think and they roared at the closing stages in their side.
Wales poured forward in a desperate hunt for a target and, together with Azerbaijan unable to apparent after Joe Allen’s deflected shot pin-balled round the box, Bale rose to head in off the bar to save blushes.
It was always supposed Bale will be Wales’ saviour, since he had been again in Cyprus a year and in Andorra at 2014.
He’s a legend of Welsh football who is as capable as he’s dragging his group off the canvass of rising to the huge occasions.
This was certainly a case of the latter, and there was a component of personal redemption for Bale given his summertime for country and club.
In Junehe cut a frustrated forlorn figure while speculation about his Real Madrid future, as Wales were defeated in Hungary and Croatia.
Having not played for six months, Bale’s lethargic body language appeared set for a transfer to the Chinese Super League and spoke of a discontent shaped in Spain, in which he had been marginalised by Actual manager Zinedine Zidane.
But the collapse of the transfer and subsequent injuries to players such as Eden Hazard prompted a transformation at Bale’s status since he score double at Villarreal and began the first three league games of this year of Real.
These were his first goals since March and they appeared to energise Bale from Azerbaijan. He awakened Wales’ attack and rushed back to aid his defenders.
His target was a deserved reward for his efforts, and it prompted a telling clench of the fist around the touchline out of Giggs, that would have been as relieved in the scene as anybody.
Having missing seven of his first 13 matches in charge, another defeat might have been terminal for hopes of qualifying for Euro 2020 – and it could have put Giggs.
For his side and him, at Bale, Wales have a saviour for all seasons.
Read more here: http://zaghetarredamenti.it/?p=5720