Wales can use Gareth Bale goal to repeat history - Joe Allen

Gareth Bale's headed goal against Azerbaijan
Gareth Bale headed in Wales' winner with just six minutes to play against Azerbaijan on Friday
International friendly: Wales v Belarus
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Date: Monday 9 September Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary. Highlights on Match of the Day, BBC One Wales, 10:35 BST

Wales' Joe Allen thinks history could repeat itself as they try to make the most of Gareth Bale's winner against Azerbaijan in Euro 2020 qualifying.

There were parallels to Bale's free-kick in Andorra five years ago that sparked Wales' bid to reach Euro 2016.

Both of the Real Madrid forward's goals came in the final 10 minutes and spared embarrassment against relative minnows.

Asked whether Friday's win had reminded him of Andorra, midfielder Allen said: "That's the feeling I've got."

It remains to be seen whether Bale's close-ranger header in the 2-1 home win over Azerbaijan - which came after a bizarre own goal had gifted Wales a half-time lead - has the same importance as that strike in Andorra.

His twice-taken free-kick set Wales on the road to the 2016 European Championship - their first major tournament in 58 years - and they would eventually reach the semi-finals in France.

"Maybe it's the swing in terms of momentum, and that little bit of luck as well," said Allen, 29.

"Look at the campaign we qualified in and we rode our luck at times. Hopefully it's a good sign of what's to come."

Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory in Andorra in September 2014
Gareth Bale celebrating his vital goal in Andorra in 2014

Wales trail group leaders Croatia and Hungary by three points at the halfway stage of qualifying, and are level with Slovakia in the race for a top-two spot.

Ryan Giggs' side are in friendly action against Belarus in Cardiff on Monday, but will be paying close attention to the Azerbaijan v Croatia and Hungary v Slovakia in qualifying.

"Who knows what we will need [to qualify]," said Allen after Wales had bounced back from June defeats in Croatia and Hungary. "The summer was a big blow to our chances.

"We have never had that doubt that we can still qualify as long as we up things and improve. It wasn't free-flowing football or a comfortable win, but we got the three points and that's the main thing.

"This good result will help us going to Slovakia, and we are trying to focus on doing our job right.

"If we can win our home games and go on the road and get the results we need, then that will be enough."

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Wales 2-1 Azerbaijan: 'I said he keeps scoring' - Giggs delighted by Bale winner

Some Wales fans used social media to vent their frustration at Giggs, who was appointed in January 2018 and has had a mixed 20 months in charge.

But Allen says the players are behind the manager.

"The lads haven't performed to their best, but they have delivered for him," added the Stoke City midfielder.

"You need reminders in different ways and we were certainly given that. Hopefully this can be that little bit of momentum we can take forward now."

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