Tag: Gareth Bale

Euro 2016 Qualifier: Israel 0-3 Wales

Wales leapfrogged Israel at the top of their Euro 2016 qualifying group as two goals from Gareth Bale inspired a hugely impressive win that leaves them well placed to reach next summer’s finals in France.

Manager Chris Coleman had described this match as Wales’ most important since the Euro 2004 play-off defeat by Russia in 2003.

And with three wins and two draws from their first five matches, this is Wales’ best start to a campaign since that ill-fated bid 12 years ago as they attempt to reach a first major finals since the 1958 World Cup.

Victory against an Israeli side who had won all three of their previous qualifiers must rank as the finest of Coleman’s three-year tenure.

The visitors had the better of the first half in Haifa and took a deserved lead as Aaron Ramsey headed in from Bale’s flick-on just before the break.

The Real Madrid star doubled their advantage with a superb, swerving free-kick from the edge of the area soon after the restart and, a minute later, Israel’s Eytan Tibi picked up a second booking for fouling Bale as Wales took control.

He then added a final gloss with a sweeping finish late on as Coleman’s side moved two points clear at the summit of Group B.

Wary of their in-form opponents and a hostile atmosphere at a packed Sammy Ofer Stadium, Coleman reverted to a 5-3-2 formation that allowed him to give Bale a roaming role in attack.

Read more at BBC Sport

La Liga: Cordoba 2-1 Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off for lashing out at Edimar as Real Madrid beat Cordoba 2-1 thanks to a dramatic late Gareth Bale penalty.

Cordoba took an early lead when Bebe fired a shot from distance against the arms of Sergio Ramos, and the referee awarded a penalty. Nabil Ghilas calmly converted from the spot.

Real struggled to create many chances in response, but Karim Benzema equalised after stabbing home Gareth Bale’s flick-on from a James Rodriguez corner.

In the second half, Cordoba continued to play brightly, despite gradually dropping deeper, and they almost took the lead against when Florin Andone lifted a volley over the head of Iker Casillas, only to see his effort bounce off the crossbar.

Real Madrid went close when Juan Carlos saved Benzema’s shot from the left, but minutes later Cristiano Ronaldo saw red for kicking out at Edimar after the two tussled for a cross, and also became involved with Jose Angel Crespo.

Minutes later, Bale won a penalty when Federico Cartabia was given a second yellow after he handballed his free kick. He fired his shot down the middle to win the game with minutes to spare.

Read more at Yahoo Sport

Club World Cup: Real Madrid 2-0 San Lorenzo

Real Madrid won their fourth trophy of 2014 by defeating Argentina’s South American champions San Lorenzo in the Club World Cup final in Morocco.

The Champions League, Copa del Rey and European Super Cup holders took the lead through a Sergio Ramos header.

A goalkeeping error allowed Gareth Bale to add a second when the Welshman’s shot squirmed under Sebastian Torrico.

Real were rarely troubled and extended their Spanish record with a 22nd consecutive win in all competitions.

The victory also provided the Bernabeu outfit with their first win in the competition in its current guise, although they won its predecessor – the Intercontinental Cup – three times.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti had signalled Real’s intent at capturing another piece of silverware by sending out a strong line-up including the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale, James Rodriguez and Karim Benzema.

However, while the Spanish side were initially frustrated by defence-minded Argentine opponents, Ramos made the breakthrough for Real.

A swift counter-attack led by Benzema ended in a Bale shot being parried wide by keeper Torrico and, from the resulting corner, Ramos nodded in a Toni Kroos delivery.

The emphasis was on San Lorenzo to take the initiative in search of a leveller but, instead, coach Edgardo Bauza’s side fell further behind after a goalkeeping error.

Real Madrid midfielders Kroos and Isco expertly dictated play and when the latter found Bale his shot went under the body of Torrico.

San Lorenzo, like other South American sides, place a high degree of importance on the Club World Cup but they struggled to make any impact on the match as they were outplayed and outclassed in Marrakech.

Iker Casillas – making his 700th appearance for Real – had one of his quieter games, but he did have to get down low to save an Emmanuel Mas left-foot shot and parry a late Juan Mercier strike as his side comfortably closed out the win.

They did not even need talisman Ronaldo to shine as the Portuguese struggled to impose himself, with his closest effort coming with a header straight at Torrico.

Earlier, Auckland City from New Zealand won the third-place play-off after beating Mexican side Cruz Azul on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Read more at BBC Sport

Euro 2016 Qualifying: Andorra 1-2 Wales

Gareth Bale rescued a poor Wales, crashing home a late free-kick to overcome a stubborn Andorra side in their Euro 2016 qualification opener.

Andorra took an early lead on their artificial turf through an Ildefons Lima penalty after a Neil Taylor foul.

Real Madrid’s Bale headed home from Ben Davies’s cross before the break, but his side lacked inspiration with boss Chris Coleman booed by some away fans.

But Bale’s trademark dipping set-piece saved his manager more embarrassment.

Read more on BBC Sport