Chris Coleman laments missed chance for Wales

Wales 1 Georgia 1: Chris Coleman said Wales were punished for not “taking care of business” as they were held at home by Georgia.

Chris Coleman laments missed chance for Wales

Gareth Bale’s early header gave Wales the lead in this World Cup qualifier but they failed to build on that advantage, conceded a second-half equaliser to Tornike Okriashvili and could easily have lost the game.

The result suited the Republic of Ireland and Wales’s fellow Group D challengers, but Coleman refused to accept this was a major setback to Welsh qualification hopes: “People will look at it as two points dropped but it might be a point gained at the end of the day, in the second half.

“We got a great start but you’ve got to take care of business. We didn’t and we were punished, we tried to come again but it was too late, they’d got a bit of confidence by then.”

Indeed, Jano Ananidze and Valeri Qazaishvili hit the crossbar for Georgia while Levan Mchedlidze wasted a glorious one-on-one opportunity on the break.

“We could have lost it in the second half but you think Georgia at home, you’ve got to take the three points,” said Coleman.

“The next game now is Serbia here (on November 12). It puts more pressure on us to take three points there and we have to deal with that.

“We went for it in the second half in terms of the formation, which left us susceptible to the counter-attack and we got away with one or two situations.

“It’s a point, we’ll take it, but it’s not what we wanted.”

Midfielder Dave Edwards admitted Wales were “massively” disappointed at the result.

“I think first half we played reasonably well, had a few chances, but after they got the goal back we were very poor,” he said.

“We went away from what we know best, we looked all over the place at times and that’s down to players. It’s definitely two points dropped.

“Going 1-0 up and having chances, we should have gone further ahead but the last half-hour, we were hanging on if anything.”

Wales thought an early goal would be key to preventing an afternoon of potential frustration. And Bale duly delivered after 10 minutes, rising to plant Joe Ledley’s corner firmly into the net. His 25th goal for Wales moved him to within three of equalling Ian Rush’s record tally.

However, Wales were punished for their first-half profligacy when Georgia counter-attacked at will after the break and Tornike Okriashvili’s 57th-minute header gave them their first point the group.

Manager Vladimir Weiss said his side’s World Cup qualification hopes rested on victory after two openings defeats and, although that remains an unlikely ambition, his side is moving in the right direction.


Hennessey, Gunter, Chester, Williams, Davies, Taylor (Cotterill 70), King (Robson-Kanu 61), Ledley (Huws 73), Edwards, Bale, Vokes


Loria, Kakabadze, Kverkvelia, Kashia, Navalovski, Kazaishvili, Daushvili, Gvilia, Ananidze (Kacharavaat 90+3), Okriashvili (Jigauriat 90+1), Mchedlidze (Dvalishviliat 75)


Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni

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