Tom Lawrence was the hero as Wales boosted their World Cup qualification prospects with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Georgia in Tbilisi.
Tom Lawrence came up with a stunning 49th-minute victor to give Wales a third-successive Group D victory.
Otherwise, it could come down to Monday’s meeting between Wales and the Republic in Cardiff. “We have a game plan and we will see where it takes us”.
Chris Coleman’s men had chances to make the game safe, but remained relatively untroubled defensively, despite Georgia enjoying the lion’s share of the possession.
A draw with Wales to cement second wouldn’t be enough because eight other teams will finish with 11 or more points in that same table and they will be the eight playoff teams. The Real Madrid star is Wales’ top scorer in this qualifying campaign with four goals and in the past five years they have won only once in 10 matches (competitive and friendly) without him in the starting line-up. “He is obviously an important player for them but we are missing Seamus Coleman and Jon Walters”, Keane said on Tuesday.
– Lawrence’s goal was his first for Wales, however, having failed to score in any of his first eight appearances.
“We didn’t have that attitude maybe, myself included”.
Bale suffered discomfort in his thigh during the Champions League tie between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund on September 26. But Lawrence – like Liverpool teenager Ben Woodburn against Austria last month – stepped up when Wales needed a hero.
Edwards said, as quoted by The Mirror: “I’d want to have Joe Allen in that midfield every day of the week, I think he’s one of the best midfielders in Europe, I really do”. People expect big things from him and in the last few games he has done a good job. He came off the pitch again and Ben went on, crossed the ball and set up the goal. “He showed courage and intelligence, and he showed great maturity”.
Although unable to qualify for the World Cup, Georgia manager Vladimir Weiss said that Wales will not get an easy ride in tonight’s game.
This will be the fifth time the two sides have met. Wales have never beaten Georgia, losing their first three contests before drawing 1-1 at the Cardiff City Stadium in October 2016.
“But we have other players who can do that as well, someone like Aaron (Ramsey), who obviously did that out in Serbia”.
Make no mistake – Georgia are much better than their ranking of 103rd in the world suggests, and there were times in the final half an hour when Wales lived extremely dangerously.