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Wales up to third after beating Scotland

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22 Mar 2013 23:16:53

Wales up to third after beating Scotland

Wales moved up to third in World Cup qualifying Group A as they scored twice in two minutes to come from behind to beat Scotland 2-1 at Hampden on Friday as both sides ended with 10 men.

Scotland began poorly as a Gareth Bale-inspired Wales dominated but took the lead in first half stoppage time through Grant Hanley's header.

A more confident start to the second half saw Scotland hit the post through Robert Snodgrass before a moment of madness from the Norwich City midfielder earned him a red card for a late lunge on Chris Gunter on the edge of the box.

Aaron Ramsay hammered home the 73rd minute penalty before Hal Robson-Kanu headed Wales into the lead a minute later.

Ramsay then saw red in stoppage time as he pulled down James McArthur who was charging towards goal but Shaun Maloney blazed the resultant free-kick over the bar.

The result leaves Scotland firmly rooted to the bottom of Group A without a win in five games as Gordon Strachan's first competitive match in charge ended in defeat.

"I'm hugely disappointed," said Strachan. "We were nervous to start with and we didn't pass the ball well enough.

"When you are 1-0 up you have to score the second one which we had chances to do but never took them. The penalty caused us a problem. We were down to 10 men and then they scored right away so it was an uphill fight after that."

Wales manager Chris Coleman felt it was a justified victory.

"I thought in the first half for 30 minutes we totally dominated the game. We were disappointed to be 1-0 down and didn't think that was a true reflection of the first 45 minutes," he said.

"In the second half they hit the post but after that it was all us and I think we thoroughly deserved to win."

The attention before the match had been firmly focussed on the fitness of Bale but he recovered from an ankle knock to take his place in the Wales starting line-up.

And the Tottenham star showed his worth from the start as he charged at the Scotland defence before playing in Craig Bellamy but his effort was stopped before Ramsey's follow-up was blocked.

Steven Fletcher had been picked to spearhead the Scotland attack but his match lasted just two minutes after he landed awkwardly on his ankle following an aerial challenge and was replaced by Kenny Miller.

A defensive mix-up allowed Bale to nip in behind Hanley to lift the ball over Allan McGregor but Hanley recovered to clear the danger.

Wales had Scotland pinned in their own half but they managed to break out in the 22nd minute with Chris Burke bursting down the right wing before pinging a cross to the back post where Miller bulleted a header just over.

Scotland then had keeper McGregor to thank as he kept out Hal Robson-Kanu's shot before palming away the rebound from Bale.

In stoppage time Hanley headed Scotland into the lead.

The Blackburn defender rose above Sam Ricketts at the far post to get on the end of Charlie Mulgrew's corner and place a header into the bottom right hand corner.

Wales were dealt a blow when Bale didn't emerge for the second half with Jonathan Williams taking his place.

Graham Dorrans fired just over with a strike from the edge of the box before Maloney teed up Snodgrass whose curling effort cracked off the post as Scotland came close.

Wales made their second change in the 58th minute as King replaced Jack Collison.

His first touch was to bundle the ball in the net from a corner but the whistle had already gone for Ashley Williams' challenge on keeper McGregor.

Snodgrass was sent off for his second yellow for a reckless challenge on Gunter just inside the box. Ramsay took the resultant penalty and smashed it in off the bar and past McGregor.

Scotland looked stunned as Wales took the lead in the 74th minute when King crossed from the right for the unmarked Robson-Kanu to send a downward header bouncing past the helpless keeper.

Ramsay saw red for Wales deep into stoppage time as he hauled down McArthur.


AFP

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