WALES got their first win in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup as Daniel James’ late header sealed a 1-0 for assistant manager Rob Page at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Both sides were reduced to ten men but it was the home side who held their nerve to get a much needed win.
Wales had Harry Wilson leading the line while Ethan Ampadu got the nod in midfield.
There were some familiar names on the Czech Republic team sheet as West Ham duo Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek were named in the starting eleven.
The visitors had the first real chance on ten minutes as Jankto curled a shot just wide of the left hand post.
He was involved again moments later but after being played he shot into the side netting.
Wales had a couple of free kicks which were sent into a dangerous areas but in the first half an hour the home side hadn’t given much for the Czech keeper to do.
With ten minutes to go until half time Wales finally tested the Czech keeper. Neco Williams crossed from the left and Gareth Bale got ahead of his marker to shoot down into the ground only to see the keeper make an excellent save to push the ball over the bar.
Bale had another chance from the resulting corner but his shot was blocked away for a throw.
The Czechs then also saw a couple of shots blocked as Wales coped well with what their opponents had to throw at them.
Dan James took a tumble in the box two minutes before the break but the referee waved away any shouts for a penalty.
Early in the second half the Czechs had a free kick which keeper Danny Ward gathered comfortably. However, in the aftermath, Connor Roberts went down following an altercation and Schick was shown a straight red card.
Replays suggested that Roberts went down easily after minimal contact but Wales now had a great chance to go on and win the game against ten men. Roberts was also shown a yellow card for his part.
On 57 minutes the ball was played through for Provod but after he touched the ball past Ward, Lawrence got back excellently to deny him a goal scoring chance.
Three minutes later, Dan James’ strong cross was palmed away but only into the path of Gareth Bale but he saw his shot blocked.
The ball was then played through for Provod but penalty appeals were again turned down when he took a tumble. Jankto was shown a yellow card for his protests.
With fourteen minutes to go, Connor Roberts was shown a second yellow as he challenged for the ball but he led with his arm according to the referee and the game would finish 10 vs 10.
Sub Kieffer Moore sent Dan James in on goal soon after but James’ effort was pushed wide for a corner.
With nine minutes to go, Bale crossed from the left and James rose highest to head the ball down and into the back of the net.
Moore then had a chance to double their lead but he curled his shot high and wide of the goal.
Four minutes of stoppage time were added and in the second of them, Joe Rodon made an excellent block to deny the Czechs a late equaliser.
It will be a big boost to Wales who next face Albania in a friendly in June as they look to warm up for the European Championships.
- Wales make one change for second South Africa test by James Hemingray
- Wales’ longest station name: How it got its name, and what it means by Doug Evans
- Top ten famous Welsh people by Elfed Jones
- No-nonsense investing app launches myth-busting ‘Investing Truth or Scare’ quiz by Cerys Lafferty
- WG announces Sustainable Farming Scheme by Cerys Lafferty
- Boris Johnson expected to resign as Prime Minister today by Cerys Lafferty
- Premier League clubs RANKED by popularity across social media by Owen Harries
- Star Wars: Why the Millennium Falcon was built here in Wales by Doug Evans