China 0-6 Wales: Gareth Bale breaks scoring record in Ryan Giggs' first match as manager
Last Updated: 22/03/18 10:18pm
The Ryan Giggs era with Wales began with a bang as Gareth Bale broke Ian Rush’s all-time scoring record in a 6-0 win over China in the China Cup.
The Real Madrid star scored a hat-trick to take his tally for his country to a record-breaking 29 goals while Sam Vokes got two and Liverpool youngster Harry Wilson netted on his full-debut.
China, who are ranked 65 in the world and coached by Italian legend Marcelo Lippi, were no match for a ruthless Welsh side under their new boss.
The victory sends Wales through to the four-team friendly tournament final, where they will meet either Uruguay or Czech Republic on Monday.
Giggs admitted nerves had meant he had struggled to sleep before his debut in the dugout. He was given the perfect nerve-settler inside three minutes as Bale opened the scoring.
Despite an exhausting 16-hour journey from London, Bale looked fresh and terrorised the Chinese backline with a surging run in behind before sliding a clever effort into the top corner.
Bale drew level with Rush's record on 21 minutes when Vokes bravely prodded a ball through for Bale to chase. He accelerated away from his marker before sliding a low effort into the net.
China: Yan Junling (3), Zheng Zheng (3), Feng Xiaoting (3), He Guan (3), Wang Shenchao (3), Huang Bowen (4), Hao Junmin (5), Gao Lin (4), Wu Lei (5), Wei Shihao (4), Yu Dabao (4).
Subs: Zhao (5), Yu (5), Deng (5), Liu (5), Li (5)
Wales: Hennessey (7), Gunter (7), Chester (7), Williams (7), Davies (8), King (7), Allen (8), John (7), Wilson (8), Bale (9), Vokes (9).
Subs: Bradshaw (6), Woodburn (7), Mepham (6), Evans (6), Watkins (6)
Man of the match: Gareth Bale
Vokes got in the act seven minutes before the break, cleverly flicking an Andy King cross into the far corner before Wilson - on his 21st birthday - curled home a tasty finish just before the break.
China improved - albeit only slightly - after the break but their defensive lapses continued to cost them as Wilson played in Vokes on 58 minutes and the Burnley man grabbed his second.
Bale remained on the pitch past 60 minutes as it was clear he was keen to bypass Rush in the goal standings.
His record-breaking moment came on 62 minutes when he breezed in behind a static Chinese defence and slotted home low into the corner.
Top Wales goalscorers
Man of the match - Gareth Bale
If anyone needed reminding of his ability, then they should watch this performance. The Chinese defence were petrified from the first minute. The opposition was not of a high standard but the Madrid star looked full of confidence as he scored his first hat-trick for his country.
Wales will play the winner of Uruguay or Czech Republic in the China Cup final on Monday while China will face the loser in the third-place play-off.