Belfast Telegraph

Bale strikes to keep Wales within touching distance of finals berth

Wales 1 Croatia 1

By Staff Reporter

Wales' hopes of automatic qualification for next summer's European Championships remain just about alive after last night's 1-1 draw with Group E leaders Croatia.

Things started ominously for Ryan Giggs' side when the visitors - for whom victory would have assured their place at the Euro 2020 finals - took a ninth-minute lead through Nikola Vlasic.

Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey's superb save prevented Ivan Perisic from making it 2-0 soon after before the home side levelled on the stroke of half-time when Gareth Bale showed neat feet and composure to find the net following great work from Ben Davies.

The draw means Wales must win their remaining two fixtures - away to Azerbaijan and home to Hungary - and hope that Slovakia slip up against either the Croats or Azerbaijan if they are to seal qualification.

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