Bale says Wales can still qualify for World Cup


MATCH REPORT: Wales v Serbia

Gareth Bale insists Wales can still qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup despite a late Aleksandar Mitrovic equaliser denying Chris Coleman's men victory over Serbia in Cardiff.

The hosts were unremarkable throughout in their fourth Group D encounter, but Bale's first-half strike appeared to have clinched three crucial points.

However, with just five minutes remaining, Mitrovic headed Serbia level to leave Wales four points off the pace set by the Republic Of Ireland, who Coleman's men face next in March. 

Bale, though, still believes his side can progress to the finals from this difficult position, having reached the last four at UEFA Euro 2016.

"We are so disappointed at the moment, we played great in the first half but then we faded," he said.

"We dug in. It's one of those things, you go so close at one end [as Bale hit the post] and then they go up and score.

"We believe we can still do it, we just need to keep working hard. At home we were confident, we were 1-0 up in the 85th minute, it's two points lost."

Team-mate Joe Ledley similarly focused on the positives after a deflating stalemate, as he pointed out Wales's unbeaten record.

"Being at home, of course we wanted to take the three points," he added. "We fought well. We changed the tactics, it worked and on another day we would have won.

"Credit to Serbia; they came here and got the point. We're still undefeated, so there's still a lot of positives to take out of this game.

"We'll keep our heads and look forward to the next one."

Wales travels to Ireland in for next qualifier on 25 March (AEDT).