Match Analysis: Wales 2-1 Scotland

Gareth Bale and Shaun Maloney
© PA Photos
Sports Mole analyses the 2014 World Cup qualifier between Wales and Scotland in Cardiff that ended in a 2-1 win for the hosts.

Wales are off the mark in their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-1 comeback victory over Scotland at home.

James Morrison gave the Scots the lead at the Cardiff City Stadium in the 27th minute, but the Dragons staged a late comeback in the second half.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look to see if the result was fair.

Match statistics

Wales
Shots: 12
On Target: 3
Possession: 49%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 13

Scotland
Shots: 8
On Target: 4
Possession: 51%
Corners: 5
Fouls: 17

Was the result fair?

Difficult to say, really. Scotland were far from poor and also had a goal (controversially) disallowed in the game, but Wales kept going until the end and bagged maximum points. Gareth Bale was always going to be the dangerman and the visitors' inability to mark him properly and close him down punished them.

Wales's performance

Coach Chris Coleman will not be happy with the way his side defended on occasions tonight, but going on the attack Wales looked good, albeit with a lack of sharpness. Bale was the star of the show and his crosses and link-up plays are something that the Dragons will look to build on in the future games. Wales fought tonight and showed their hunger, which is a huge positive.

Scotland's performance

Allan McGregor was not forced into making too many saves, meaning that the Scotland defence could cope with the Wales attack for most parts. Striker Steven Fletcher and midfielder Darren Fletcher both looked good on their return, but the Scots need to be more proactive in closing down space on the opposition's main man, which they failed to do tonight.

Referee's performance

Florian Meyer had the game under control throughout and demonstrated a laudable and professional performance. He made the correct decisions and dished out the cards for the challenges that deserved to be punished. Maybe he should not have disallowed Steven Fletcher's second goal of the evening, but it was his assistant who made that call and not him.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Gareth Bale. A constant threat down the right flank in the first half, he continued to terrorise Daniel Fox and scored both the goals for Wales. His first was a penalty that he himself earned, while his second is one of the goals of the World Cup qualifying campaign. Tonight Bale showed why he is a world-class footballer.

Biggest gaffe

Charlie Adam looked very sharp with his crosses for Scotland, but he could have done much better defensively. If he had closed down on Bale when he was running with the ball for his second goal or put in a challenge, then Scotland could have mustered a point in Cardiff.

What's next?

Wales: Wales will look to build on this morale-boosting victory with maximum points in Croatia on Tuesday.

Scotland: Scotland will hope to bounce back from this away defeat on Tuesday when they face Belgium in Brussels.

Gareth Bale scores a brace
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Live Commentary: Wales 2-1 Scotland - as it happened
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