Sport

Ireland boost prospects with Austria draw but Serbia equaliser dents Wales hopes

Ireland boost prospects with Austria draw but Serbia equaliser dents Wales hopes

Chris Coleman's side take on Serbia four points adrift of the Group D leaders, with their Belgrade examination all the tougher given the absence of suspended talisman Gareth Bale.

Aaron Ramsey sent the Dragons into the lead with a Panenka in the same stadium where the bloody trick-shot was invented in the 70s. He also took part in a very special quiz.

It could have been better for Martin O'Neill's side, but there was controversy in the 87th minute as the hosts thought they had won it.

"[Aaron] Ramsey has been fantastic for Wales and was brilliant in the FA Cup final for Arsenal and [Sam] Vokes is scoring goals in the Premier League for Burnley, so will he go two up top?"

"I'm gutted we couldn't hold on to the win".

"We know Wales don't have Gareth Bale, but no team has only one player". They have a good selection of players, most of whom play in the top championships, and many of them occupy a key role in his club. Another setback in the Balkans tomorrow would leave their hopes of reaching Russian Federation in tatters, but Coleman is relishing the chance to put those memories behind him.

'So I think Wales are in a good position at the moment. His penalty was despatched with confidence; he will just rue his missed chance before the end.

"It's a game we can't lose and we are up against the strongest team in the group". Subs: Gudelj 7, Prijovic 7.

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The response from Wales, however, was full of objective, looking to take back the initiative and grab a second goal that they easily deserved. OH MY! Ledley dinks the free-kick into the box, Milivojevic tugs Vokes back for no reason - the ball was behind him - and the ref points to the spot, then books the perpetrator!

Vladimir Stojkovic, the Serbia goalkeeper, made a pig's ear of dealing with Ben Davies's long pass and ended up bringing down Ramsey just outside the area when he realised that he was unable to shepherd the ball out of play. The cat is pigeoned!

Wales suffered one of their heaviest defeats at the hands of Serbia, who beat them 6-1 at Belgrade in 2012.

There was no stopping Isco midway through the half, though, as some sublime skill took him past Kire Ristevski before his low cross was turned home by Costa at the back post.

80' - Huge chance for Wales! "I'm just happy it went in", Ramsey said. But instead of going across goal with his laces, he flicks with the outside of his foot and Stojkovic blocks easily.

Wales have drawn five global games in succession for the first time ever.

Ramsey has been involved in five goals in his last six global appearances, scoring twice and assisting on three, to prove what an important player he is for Wales.


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