Wales 1-1 Georgia: Gareth Bale scores in frustrating stalemate
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 10/10/16 6:12am
Wales hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup suffered a blow as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Georgia at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Gareth Bale headed Wales ahead after 10 minutes on Sunday, but Tornike Okriashvili struck in the second half for Georgia, who had multiple opportunities to steal all three points in the latter stages.
The result leaves Wales on five points from three games in Group D, having drawn 2-2 with Austria on Thursday night.
Wales came racing out of the blocks and it was Bale who put them ahead, rising highest in the box to power home a Joe Ledley corner.
The home side continued to press but failed to create any real clear-cut chances throughout the rest of the first half, going off the boil slightly and allowing Georgia back into the game.
Georgia had beaten Wales all three times the two nations had previously met, but didn't have a real opportunity to score until the 34th minute, when Jano Ananidze's free-kick from the edge of the area clipped the top of Wayne Hennessey's bar.
Georgia's momentum continued into the second half and they found a deserved equaliser 12 minutes after the break through Okriashvili.
Valeri Kazaishvili floated a lovely ball into the path of the No 10 in the Wales area, and he peeled away from the home side's defence before heading past Hennessey from close range.
Georgia now looked the more likely of the two teams to move in front, and Ananidze forced a fine save out of Hennessey in the 67th minute, as the Welsh goalkeeper got down well to his left to palm away a powerful 25-yard strike.
And just five minutes later they missed a glorious chance to take the lead. Bale was guilty of losing possession in the Georgian half, before the away side countered brilliantly and worked the ball into Levan Mchedlidze. He, however, could only roll the ball wide when facing down on Hennessey.
In the 81st minute, they went even closer as Kazaishvili rattled the crossbar with a thunderous effort from the edge of the area, before Wales substitute Hal Robson-Kanu went close in the closing stages but could not force a winner.