Wales stumble, fumble past Cyprus

2015-09-04 08:07
Gareth Bale in action for Wales (File)

Nicosia - Wales were not at their best in the 1-0 win away to Cyprus in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Thursday but their determination saw them through in the Group B match, coach Chris Coleman said.

"Playing in Cyprus is notoriously difficult... our players again showed the team spirit and work ethic and how much it means for them to play for their country," Coleman said.

He hailed the character of his players who secured the three points thanks to Gareth Bale's late header which leaves Wales needing three more points to qualify for the finals in France which they could get at home to Israel on Sunday.

The Wales coach reserved special praise for Bale, who struck after 82 minutes, saying "you will not see a better header".

"He is one of the best offensive players in the world and when you have him in your team you always have half a chance of winning a match".

But Coleman also stressed the need to deal with raised expectations and said his players and staff could not afford to get carried away despite knowing what is at stake.

Cyprus coach Pambos Christodoulou felt his team, fourth on nine points after seven matches, deserved at least a point.

"It was a game that we controlled in large parts except for the first ten minutes. We had more possession and created chances to score against an experienced opponent," he said.

Christodoulou was pleased with his players' performance and effort and also vowed to go on the offensive in their next qualifier at home to Belgium on Sunday.

"We have never sat back and our philosophy is never to park the bus. Tactically in football all the players must press and attack," he said.

Read more on:    euro 2016  |  la liga  |  gareth bale  |  soccer

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