Gareth Bale: Wales forward says team can still qualify despite Serbia draw

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale fired his 26th goal for Wales, but it proved not enough for Chris Coleman's side

Forward Gareth Bale says Wales still believe they can qualify for the 2018 World Cup despite a damaging 1-1 draw against Serbia.

Having given Wales a first-half lead, Bale struck a post with five minutes left, just moments before Aleksandar Mitrovic headed Serbia level.

The point leaves Chris Coleman's men third in Group D, four points behind leaders the Republic of Ireland, whom they face in Dublin on 24 March.

"We have to keep fighting," said Bale.

"We believe we can still do it. We need to keep working hard, keep doing the things we do and we will get a bit of luck at some point."

Saturday's match at Cardiff City Stadium was the third time in succession Wales had squandered a lead to draw.

Chris Coleman
Chris Coleman is dejected as Wales draw with Serbia

Coleman's side remain unbeaten in the campaign, but the four-point gap between them and the Republic of Ireland is significant, with only one team able to qualify automatically from the group.

The two teams face each other in a potentially decisive match at Dublin's Aviva Stadium in March, and Coleman believes his side can revive their hopes of qualifying for a second successive major tournament for the first time in their history.

"We know it's going to be tough but we're well capable of going there and getting a result," he said. "We know that, we've proven that in the past.

"We're going to go into a fantastic atmosphere at the Aviva Stadium and Ireland are playing on the front foot, playing with confidence - they deserve to be top.

"It's the best game. We couldn't have picked a better one. It's going to be a fantastic challenge for us and we look forward to that."

The chance Wales 'missed'

Bale said Wales had missed a chance to boost their hopes of going to Russia in 2018.

"We have to look at it as two points dropped," the Real Madrid forward told Sky Sports.

"We were at home, we felt confident going into the game, we were 1-0 up to the 85th minute.

"We are just disappointed. I thought we did great in the first half.

"In the second half we did not play as well, but we dug in and we showed our heart, but it was disappointing to concede at the end."

Top Stories