Gareth Bale inspires Wales to famous victory over Ireland in Nations League as David Brooks scores the winner
GOLF mad Gareth Bale took time out from watching the Masters to tee up a second half winner for David Brooks.
And it kept the Dragons firmly in control of the Nations League group ahead of Wednesday’s decider against Finland.
Brooks’ goal proved to be enough as once again Wales kept up their miserly defensive record which has seen them go over 700 minutes of competitive football without conceding.
Yet Ireland had their moments here as Shane Duffy got on the end of Robbie Brady’s free-kick but could not get a decent connection on his header.
Brady then had a chance for himself as Daryl Horgan got the ball back to him but he fired his shot inches too high.
Bale had been quiet early on but he stepped up to smash a 35 yard free-kick which curled and dipped before grazing the top of the bar.
Joe Morrell was perhaps lucky to escape with a yellow card when he needlessly kicked out at Jayson Molumby in the middle of the park.
Wales looked short of ideas until the introduction of Kieffer Moore on the hour gave them a focal point in attack – and soon afterwards they were ahead.
Dan James held up a cross from the right which Moore and Duffy both went for and it ended up with Bale at the back post.
The Tottenham man’s steepling header looped over Darren Randolph and Brooks had the simple task of nodding in just his second goal for Wales.
Brooks could have added a second as he capitalised on a Jeff Hendrick mistake and raced clear but Randolph saved smartly.
Ireland ended another disappointing night with 10 men as Hendrick slid in to hack down sub Tyler Roberts as he raced clear.
Wales though are now 10 unbeaten in competitive matches and will be confident of finishing the job against the Finns.
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