Special Gareth Bale performance hailed by Wales manager Chris Coleman
Tottenham winger scores in victory over Austria
Thursday 07 February 2013
Gareth Bale again stole the headlines and underlined his importance to Wales with a man-of-the-match display in their 2-1 win over Austria at the Liberty Stadium.
The Tottenham winger scored his 10th goal for his country with a smart finish as he made full use of Joe Allen's lovely lofted pass to open the scoring in the 21st minute.
He then turned provider seven minutes after the break - his pin-point cross allowing substitute Sam Vokes to head in the second - before being withdrawn on the hour.
Marc Janko pulled a goal back for Austria, but Bale's contribution ensured it was Wales who claimed a much-needed win, just the second of Chris Coleman's tenure, ahead of World Cup qualifiers with Scotland and Croatia next month.
Bale now has seven goals in his last nine internationals and prior to Vokes' header the 23-year-old had been the only player to score for Wales during Coleman's time in charge.
Having seen his star man continue a sparkling run of form which is reportedly attracting the attentions of Barcelona and Real Madrid, Coleman was effusive in his praise.
He said: "There are not many players that can do what he does.
"The cross for the second goal was great, he is such a threat and we know when we have him in the team we can afford to go without the ball for periods because he is such a danger when we get it to him.
"He changes the feel of a game and he is a big plus for us when he is playing on that form. He did two things tonight that not many players can do."
While Coleman was able to start Bale and Craig Bellamy together for the first time during his reign, he had to do without Aaron Ramsey after the Arsenal midfielder pulled out with a calf problem.
Coleman does not believe the injury is too serious, although he is unsure if Ramsey will be fit for the Gunners' clash with Sunderland on Saturday.
"I don't know if he will be ready for the weekend, it's a tough one but maybe if his calf settles down," said Coleman.
"We maybe could have played him tonight but if something happens and we send him back injured it is not ideal. We are trying to build relationships with clubs.
"When the doctor looked at it and red-flagged it, we could not take that risk. He may have a chance for the weekend but I don't know."
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