Captain Gareth Bale described Wales’ win over the Czech Republic as “massive” for their hopes of qualifying for a first World Cup since 1958. Bale delivered the cross for Daniel James’ late winning goal on Tuesday.
The result gave Wales their first points of the campaign, having lost their opening match in Belgium. “We didn’t get off to the best start against Belgium so it was massively important to get the win tonight,” said on-loan Tottenham forward Bale. “It was a massive result. We showed a lot of heart and desire to match a very physical team.
“It was very chaotic, especially second half, but we were ready and kept going until the end and the most important thing is to get that winner.” The victory moved Wales up to third place in Group E, one point behind the Czech Republic in second and four adrift of leaders Belgium, albeit having played one game fewer than both.
Although this was only Wales’ second match of the campaign, it felt like a significant fixture coming as it did against one of their likeliest rivals for qualification. Only the group winners will qualify automatically for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with the team finishing second going into the play-offs.