Wales vs. Scotland: Final score 2-1, Welsh strike back as Bale wins it with late stunner

Jeff J Mitchell - Getty Images

Wales struck back to all but end Scotland's hopes of World Cup qualification after a Gareth Bale brace followed a James Morrison opener.

Wales came from behind in the second half thanks to a brace from Gareth Bale to claim victory against a Scotland side in a hugely entertaining game.

Gareth Bale would eventually prove the decisive man, and he showed an early glimpse of the danger by firing two shots close to Allen MacGregor's goal as Wales enjoyed some early chances. Joe Allen also went close, but saw his goalbound shot blocked by Alan Hutton, before Steve Morison enjoyed the best opportunity of the whole game, sending a tame header wide after being presented with a clear goal to aim at.

Wales were soon punished for their wastefulness and their poor defending as Scotland went direct to take the lead. Steven Fletcher latched onto a goal-kick to head James Morrison in the clear, and he sent a cool finish into the bottom corner to put the away side in front.

Even Gareth Bale appeared to sink after the goal, showing his frustration by sending a pair of efforts from outside of the box embarrassingly wide. And it could have been worse - James Morrison received another chance from a Steven Fletcher knockdown, entirely unmarked outside the Welsh area, but blazed over.

After half-time, Scotland appeared to be content to sit on their lead and calm the game down, which was successful for a relatively incident-free first fifteen minutes, before Wales had two penalty shouts turned down. The first, by Aaron Ramsey after he went down under a Charlie Adam challenge, was unconvincing, but shortly afterwards Chrisophe Berra wrestled substitute Craig Davies to the ground. A clear penalty, but referee Florian Meyer waved play on, much to the hosts' chagrin.

Immediately after that incident, Scotland perked up and resumed their attacks on the home goal, with a terrible pass from new new Welsh captain Ashley Williams letting James Morrison in, but his cross-cum-shot failed to find either the goal or Steven Fletcher and Wales survived.

It wasn't just the home side to be on the end of some poor refereeing decisions - shortly afterwards, Charlie Adam crossed for Steven Fletcher to head in, but the cross was judged to have gone out of play. Replays showed it to be an incorrect decision, and it was to prove a crucial one.

Just afterwards, Wales received a penalty - third appeal lucky for the hosts after Gareth Bale went down after the slightest of touches from Shaun Maloney. After seizing the ball from Ramsey, the Spurs winger smashed Wales level as he left Allen MacGregor with no chance.

Shortly afterwards, with both teams pushing for the win, a moment of real quality from Gareth Bale took all three points late on. Shaking off the intentions of Charlie Adam, the winger burst in from the flank before smashing an incredible 25-yard drive into the net, sending the crowd ecstatic with just a minute of normal time left to be played.

Wales still have a very difficult and task in qualifying, but Scotland's hopes appear to be in ruins after the defeat followed a slow start. Chris Coleman may have saved his job, but there will be renewed criticism of Craig Levein and questions over whether he is the right man for the job. Often cast as being dour and negative to the point of hindering Scotland, tonight's result would seem to back up such a view after Scotland suffered by deciding to protect a 1-0 lead. The Scottish papers will not be pleased tomorrow morning with the result, particularly with the two Fletchers, Steven and Darren, featuring in the side.

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