Coleman praises 'heroic' Wales after Georgia win

Saturday, 07 Oct, 2017

The Derby County forward missed a great chance in the first half, but he didn't let that effect him, as he rifled in the victor just after the interval.

"I always knew this was going to be a tight group and always thought it would go the wire", Wales manager Chris Coleman said. It's a dream come true. The easy conclusion to make from Bale's injury is that Woodburn could be handed his first global start.

Real Madrid claimed Bale missed the win over Espanyol due to tiredness but it turns out they were just hiding the truth.

Otherwise, it could come down to Monday's meeting between Wales and the Republic in Cardiff. It is predicted that Georgia has more chance to win this game today.

Like semifinalists Wales, Ireland, who gave hosts France an almighty scare before eventually losing 2-1 in the last-16, have found it tough to recreate the buzz of last summer.

If only Bale was as reliable as Gunter, who has remarkably played in his country's last 56 matches and is preparing for his 82nd cap.

But Coleman only remembers a "horrible" experience and says there is no comparison between the team he played in and the one he now manages. Wales settled in well and after three minutes they should really have gone ahead.

The Arsenal midfielder got the ball under control but flashed his effort wide.

Wales went close again on the half-hour.

There is clearly no juice in that, and it might be a bit harder than the layers think, especially with key attacking players Robbie Brady and James McClean both suspended.

And they were nearly punished after 38 minutes when Giorgi Kvilitaia met Otar Kakabadze's cross well but sent it just wide of Hennessey's far post.

Lawrence has forced his way into the starting side recently and he came to the fore in the Georgian capital. Loria got a hand to it but the power was too great.

However, if they lose, the winners of the Wales-Republic match will qualify, while a draw could send Wales through on goal difference. The win was Wales' first-ever against Georgia.

Otar Kakabadze then ran clear in stoppage time, but strangely elected to cross rather than shoot and Wales were let off.

Champions Madrid will be relieved at Bale's diagnosis as they bid to bridge a seven-point gap to LaLiga leaders Barcelona following a slow start to the season.

"Add to that starlet Woodburn and the unknown quantity at this level of David Brooks, of Sheffield United, and Chris has all the ammunition to get three points on Friday, and that will tee up Monday night's game against Ireland".