MX23RW : Tuesday, September 25 13:36:40

Result: Ten-man Wales hold off Cyprus

Wales reach the top of Group B with a 2-1 victory over Cyprus in Cardiff.

Wales have continued their unbeaten run in Group B by battling to a 2-1 victory over Cyprus in Cardiff on Monday night.

It was a bright start to the match from the hosts as the lively Gareth Bale twice tested Anastasios Kissas with powerful strikes from outside the box.

Wales were rewarded for their early pressure in the 13th minute when David Cotterill, who was sent on as a replacement for the injured Simon Church, found the back of the net when his dangerous cross evaded everyone to hand the advantage to Chris Coleman's side.

Wales player David Cotterill (c) celebrates his opening goal with Gareth Bale (l) and Andy King during the EURO 2016 Qualifier match against Cyprus on October 13, 2014© Getty Images

Bale would be at the centre of the action when Wales doubled their advantage midway through the first half as the Real Madrid star's clever flick reached Hal Robson-Kanu, who calmly slotted past Kissas.

Despite looking in control for long periods, the hosts were pegged back when Wayne Hennessey failed to clear a free kick from Vincent Laban, who followed Cotterill by scoring in fortunate fashion.

Wales were close to restoring their two-goal advantage before the break as Bale's deflected free kick struck the crossbar, before the same player fired over from inside a congested box a few moments later.

The confident mood inside the ground was ruined two minutes into the second half when Andy King was shown a straight red card for catching Constantinos Makrides on the ankle with a dangerous tackle.

Wales player Andy King receives a straight red card from referee Manuel Grafe for a foul on Constantinos Makridis of Cyprus during the EURO 2016 Qualifier match on October 13, 2014© Getty Images

As a result, Wales were forced to change their approach, and would invite pressure from Cyprus, who went close to levelling the scores when Demetris Christofi's deflected effort flew just wide of the post.

Bale would prove to be a threat on the counter-attack as Wales looked to protect their lead, and he was inches away from finding the bottom corner from a tight angle after sprinting past a number of Cypriot defenders.

Wales defended stubbornly in the closing stages to secure the win as the Cyprus challenged faded late on.

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Wales player David Cotterill (c) celebrates his opening goal with Gareth Bale (l) and Andy King during the EURO 2016 Qualifier match against Cyprus on October 13, 2014
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Live Commentary: Wales 2-1 Cyprus - as it happened
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