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FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Gareth Bale congratulates interim boss Robert Page after ‘massive’ victory over Czech Republic | Football News

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Gareth Bale praised interim Wales coach Robert Page for keeping the team focused despite the distractions off the pitch and for securing a ‘massive victory’ against the Czech Republic in a qualifying match for the 2022 World Cup. Manchester United striker Daniel James’ goal secured a 1-0 victory over the Czechs on Tuesday. The victory lifted Wales to third place in Group E, one point behind the Czech Republic in second and four places behind Belgium, having played one game less than both.

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It was a much needed tonic for Wales whose head coach Ryan Giggs remains out of the squad due to his arrest for assaulting a woman last year.

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Giggs denies the allegations and was released on bail until May 1.

As if that wasn’t enough to distract, players Hal Robson-Kanu, Rabbi Matondo and Tyler Roberts were sacked from the squad on Monday for getting up too late and breaking a curfew at the hotel. ‘team.

Matondo and his teammate Ben Cabango were also victims of racist abuse online after Wales’ friendly victory over Mexico on Saturday.

“Pagey has kept us focused despite what is going on off the pitch,” Bale told Sky Sports.

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“The victory is exactly what we needed.”

Only the group winners will automatically advance to the final in Qatar, with the team finishing second before the play-offs.

Belgium, the world’s top ranked team, are the clear favorites to dominate the group, while Wales have already almost guaranteed a play-off after winning their Nations League group last November.

A place in the final would seal Bale’s international career as he suggested on Monday, it would be his last qualifying campaign.

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Bale, currently on loan at Tottenham from Real Madrid, has the euros delayed until later this year, but he will be 33 by the time the World Cup finals begin.

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“We didn’t get the best start against Belgium so it was extremely important to get the win tonight,” he said.

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“It was a huge result. We have shown a lot of heart and desire to compete with a very physical team.

“It was very chaotic, especially in the second half, but we were ready and kept going until the end and the most important thing is to have this winner.”

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