Six of the best – Gareth Bale’s stunning Wales strikes

The Wales captain has scored a record 36 goals for his country.

Phil Blanche
Friday 12 November 2021 12:14
Gareth Bale is set for his 100th Wales appearance on Saturday (Mike Egerton/PA)
Gareth Bale is set for his 100th Wales appearance on Saturday (Mike Egerton/PA)

Gareth Bale is poised to win his 100th Wales cap against Belarus on Saturday.

Bale is Wales’ record goalscorer and has been his country’s talisman for over a decade.

Here, the PA news agency picks out six of Bale’s best goals among his record 36 for Wales.

Wales 2 Scotland 1, Cardiff October 2012

Wales were trailing 1-0 in their ‘Battle of Britain’ World Cup qualifier as the tie ticked into the final 10 minutes. But then Bale grabbed the game by the scruff, winning and converting an 80th-minute penalty before stunning the Scots in the final minute. Bale drove at the Scotland defence and slipped his way past Charlie Adam before unleashing an angled 25-yard shot into the top corner of Allan McGregor’s net.

Andorra 1 Wales 2, Andorra la Vella, September 2014

Bale saved Wales from huge embarrassment at the start of a European Championship qualifying campaign that would end with a place in the main tournament’s semi-finals. Andorra, ranked 199th in the world, led through a sixth-minute penalty before Bale headed Wales level midway through the first half. Wales were unable to find a way through a packed home defence until Bale produced a trademark free-kick nine minutes from time to spare their blushes

Wales 1 Belgium 0, Cardiff, June 2015

With Wales’ Euro 2016 qualification hopes gathering momentum after another Bale double in a 3-0 win in Israel, the Real Madrid forward took centre stage again on a magical night at the Cardiff City Stadium. Belgium’s star-studded side were sunk in the 25th minute by a brilliant moment of opportunism. Bale latched on to Radja Nainggolan’s misdirected header and chested the ball down superbly before slipping it through the legs of Thibaut Courtois in the Belgium goal.

Cyprus 0 Wales 1, Nicosia, September 2015

Wales had one foot in Euro 2016 thanks to a brilliant Bale header. Cyprus stood firm until Jazz Richards crossed from the right eight minutes from time. Bale looked covered at the far post, but he got a run on his marker to show his renowned aerial ability. Bale powered his header into the roof of the net and Wales had another precious three points on the road to France.

Wales 2 Slovakia 1, Bordeaux, June 2016

Wales had waited 58 years to play at a major tournament but a goal arrived within 10 minutes of their Bordeaux opener at Euro 2016. Jonny Williams was fouled 25 yards out and Bale hit a dipping free-kick over the Slovakia wall. Goalkeeper Matus Kozacik should have saved it, but he gambled by stepping to his left and was deceived by the wobbling ball, which passed him on his right. It was the perfect start for Wales and Bale, who went on to join an exclusive club by scoring in each group game.

Belarus 2 Wales 3, Kazan, September 2021

Bale had gone 17 games and nearly two years without an international goal when Wales played Belarus in the Russian city of Kazan. Bale put Wales ahead from the penalty spot and converted again from 12 yards to make it 2-2 before saving his best for last. Bale buried Daniel James’ cross deep into stoppage time to give Wales a vital World Cup qualifying victory. It was Bale’s second Wales hat-trick, coming three-and-a-half years after his first against China.

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