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Bale double gives Wales opening win in Andorra

Andorra 1-2 Wales
A late free-kick from Gareth Bale, his second goal of the match, denied Andorra their first point in 45 competitive games.

Bale double gives Wales opening win in Andorra
Bale double gives Wales opening win in Andorra ©UEFA.com

Two goals from Real Madrid CF winger Gareth Bale earn Wales the points
Andorra take the lead with their first goal in a competitive fixture since September 2010
The hosts are set for their first qualifying point in 45 matches until Bale scores a free-kick 
Bale takes his tally of international goals to 14
Next games: Belgium v Andorra, Wales v Bosnia and Herzegovina (10 October)

An 81st-minute free-kick from Gareth Bale, his second goal of the game, edged Wales to victory over Andorra in their opening UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier.

It proved to be a frustrating night for Chris Coleman's side until Bale scored with a familiar set-piece strike, and while Andorra will take encouragement from their performance, their efforts were not to be rewarded with any Group B points.

Wales suffered a disastrous start when Andorra scored their first competitive goal for four years through a penalty from captain Ildefons Lima after six minutes. Chris Gunter had showed the visitors' attacking intentions by forcing Ferran Pol into a save inside the opening 60 seconds, but Neil Taylor tugged at Ivan Lorenzo and Lima made no mistake from the spot.

Rattled, but retaining the majority of possession, Wales responded through Bale on 22 minutes when he headed in a precise cross from the left by Ben Davies. Bale had missed a similar chance moments earlier, but while his goal restored parity, the frustrations of the visitors were becoming increasingly apparent as their passing and hold on possession broke down with regularity before the break.

Andorra remained resolute in defence as Wales camped in the final third for long periods of the second half. Bale had his first sight from a set piece on 57 minutes, his attempt punched away by Pol. Cristian Martínez responded for the hosts with a shot that drifted wide, but as Andorra edged closer to a historic night with the score still level, Bale made no mistake from his re-taken free-kick.

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