Bale scores 2 as Wales beat Scotland 2-1
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) -Gareth Bale scored two late goals, his second an 88th-minute screamer, to earn Wales a 2-1 victory over Scotland on Friday that revived his team's hopes in World Cup qualifying.
The Tottenham winger equalized with an 80th-minute penalty he won himself following a theatrical dive, before earning the Welsh a first win in three Group A qualifiers with a rising 30-yard drive at a rainy Cardiff City Stadium.
Wales had been facing a fifth straight loss under new coach Chris Coleman after falling behind to James Morrison's goal in the 27th but the win will reignite its already-slim hopes of challenging for top spot in a group led by Belgium and Croatia on seven points.
"We all knew it was a massive game for us,'' said Bale, one of the English Premier League's star players. "We fought back like men tonight and got a great result.''
Scotland, which opened with two draws, is second from bottom in the six-team group, piling the pressure on coach Craig Levein.
But the visitors were left unhappy after seeing a 74th-minute goal by Steven Fletcher - back in the team after a 20-month international exile - wrongly disallowed when the assistant referee adjudged a cross from the left by Charlie Adam to have drifted out of play.
"I am just devastated that the game has panned out the way it has,'' Levein said. "Having a goal chalked off is really difficult to take.
"I am amazed that we have come in after that game and we have lost it.''