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D. James (81)
Cardiff City Stadium
Wales v Czechia Live Commentary,
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Shots Off Target
Shots On Target
Next time though? Competitively, it's Euro 2020. One year after they were meant to take to the field, Wales will square off with Switzerland in Group A while the Czech Republic face Scotland in Group D. It promises to be a fantastic summer of football - but until then, thank you for joining us and have a great week!
Jaroslav Silhavy will be left to rue that one though. It is a win, a draw and a loss from his side's first three qualifiers - and with a long wait until September now, he will have to ensure that his side do not stew for too long on what could have been in the Welsh capital.
Wherever Ryan Giggs is right now, he has just let out a very long breath. Robert Page has sneaked away with a major result despite less ball, less shots, less victorious duels in the middle and less passes. Wales are up and running on the road to Qatar.
A late header from Daniel James means that it is Wales who emerge triumphant in their second Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup UEFA qualifier against the Czech Republic - and that it is the hosts who move off the mark in Group E, to go a point behind their opponents with a game in hand. Full-time in Cardiff, it finishes Wales 1-0 Czech Republic.
90' + 4'
FULL-TIME: WALES 1-0 CZECH REPUBLIC
90' + 2'
Rodon! The Tottenham man might be the most popular Wales player in the dressing room tonight! The Czech Republic pull a ball back through a crowded box and find Celustka right in the middle - and it is a wild foot from the Welsh defender that deflects his shot away from a certain equaliser!
Buckle in; we're going to have four added minutes of injury time here.
We're creeping towards the final minutes of this match. Can Wales hang on to secure a crucial result on the road to Qatar?
Matej Vydra now joins the action for the Czech Republic too, replacing Coufal in what could be their final gamble.
Antonin Barak is the latest arrival for the visitors, replacing Kudela.
The lack of an extra body for so much of the second half has restricted the visitors, that is for sure; having registered eight shots in the first half, they've had only two since the break.
Moore! Wales could have doubled their lead and put this one to bed now, but the substitute can't tuck it home, pushing a delivery from Lawrence past the right post.
Provod too exits for the visitors with Pavel Kaderabek on in his place.
The Czech Republic now look to wrestle something back here and replace Jankto - a fine performer tonight - with Lukas Masopust.
What a time to stand up too for Gareth Bale! The captain of this side has been under-fire for several reasons, but that is a delivery that is straight out of his top-drawer playbook. He nabs a lovely assist.
GOAL! DANIEL JAMES HANDS WALES THE MOST VITAL OF LEADS! 1-0! A deep throw-in for the hosts is taken by Bale, who sees the ball returned to him with a short pass. He holds it up before lobbing a long cross in - and it is his fellow forward who rises to angle a low header that bounces beyond Vaclik and in at the opposite post. What a time to strike!
James! That should have been the goal Wales so desperately craved! The Manchester United man and Bale are both through on goal chasing a short throughball, and Vaclik is afforded the time to scramble and cover. It's just not coming off for the hosts.
Now Wales are down a man as Roberts sees a second yellow - and a resultant red card! It's for a high elbow as he leaps up to challenge for a ball with Soucek, and the latter goes down. It's a bit soft, but the visitors will relish that call going their way. The Welshman is furious as he stalks off the pitch.
Wilson's game is done for the hosts, with Jonathan Williams on in his place.
There is of course another major tournament Wales will be taking part in before the World Cup, if they get there, in the shape of Euro 2020. On this basis, it's hard to see just how they could repeat that remarkable run to the semi-finals they achieved in 2016.
It's been another one of those games where Gareth Bale hasn't quite risen to the occasion for Wales, but the blame can't be squared at his feet entirely. It's not been a particularly consistent midfield delivery from the hosts.
Darida! The Czech man isn't too far off the mark there, just pushing a right-footed shot over the goalmouth. It feels like it will be the visitors who will break the deadlock if anyone will.
Schick is the first Czech player to be sent off in a World Cup qualifier since Daniel Kolar was against Italy in September 2013.
James thinks he's timed his run to perfection for a throughball pinged downfield, but he's a fraction offside. Fine margins ensure that his run-in towards goal is checked by the linesman's flag.
That man advantage has been vastly advantageous for Wales with the ball at their feet; since the break, they have enjoyed almost two-thirds of possession in this game. But there's still no goal and the Czech counter is the more threatening so far.
Now it is Wales' turn to ride their luck with a non-penalty call! Williams barges into Provod as the Czech man drives headlong into the Welsh box and the latter goes down. The referee waves any cries away - and then books Jankto for continuing to protest.
Jaroslav Silhavy's side have taken the loss of Schick with a vengeance. They're ensuring that the tempo has been set at a higher rhythm and Wales are having a spot of trouble keeping up with it.
Provod can't believe it! The Czech Republic man latches onto a wonderful looping ball and beats out the Welsh defence to go one-on-one with Ward. The keeper comes out to the edge of the box and he cuts around him to find an open goal - and somehow, Lawrence manages to cut back across in time to block the shot. Herculean defending!
Wales now make their first change too, with Kieffer Moore on to replace Mepham.
Celustka with the header now for the visitors and Ward rises to the occasion again to meet the finish nudged towards to him following Darida's delivery.
Krmencik is barely on the field a few minutes before Williams clatters him and the Welshman is duly booked. Tempers are running a little bit high in Cardiff.
The Czech Republic make the first change of the game now as they look to steady their ship, with Michael Krmencik on for Holes.
If Wales do not seize this game by the scruff of its neck and haul themselves ahead, they will be left to rue it for a long time. This is a prime opportunity now, with a man advantage, to land a crucial result they've otherwise looked rarely capable of finding.
Roberts does not escape unscathed and is handed a yellow card for his part in the push-and-pull tug-of-war that led up to it. But it looks like Schick retaliated with more aggressive force, hence the difference in punishment.
It's a red card for Schick! The Czech Republic are down a man for the rest of this match! It's for a push on Roberts and referee Ovidiu Hategan is not having it. The visitors are absolutely howling at that decision.
A free-kick for the visitors after a lazy foul on Kudela makes for a comfortable save for Ward, thrown in as it is, but there's the end result of an altercation between Roberts and Schick. The former goes down and both sets of players are furiously protesting. What's gone on here?
We're back underway at Cardiff City Stadium. Are we in for a snoozefest again or can one side ignite this tie with a little bit of magic?
On this basis, Belgium need not fear any sleepless nights about not making it to the showpiece tournament next winter. Wales dragged themselves up to a third of overall possession there, but it's not been an inspirational evening by any stretch of the imagination.
Gareth Bale's close-range effort, saved by Tomas Vaclik, is the nearest that either side has come to breaking the deadlock of what has been an otherwise tepid Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier clash in Cardiff. At half-time, it is Wales 0-0 Czech Republic.
HALF-TIME: WALES 0-0 CZECH REPUBLIC
Has Soucek got away with one there? The Czech midfielder looked to have bodychecked James following the latter's run into the visitors' box and the referee decides that there aren't sufficient grounds for a penalty. Wales may disagree with that one.
Lawrence, Williams and Mepham all intercede on some dangerous Czech possession and see off a pair of consecutive corners without concession in the end, Schick steering the final header well wide.
Ward rises to meet a Schick effort now as Wales' defence is unlocked all too easily by Jankto. Still nothing to separate these two sides on the scoreboard.
Gareth Bale still can't believe he's missed that one. Wales' subsequent corner allows him to try and smash a left-footed finish through a congested area to no luck, but that original effort was a sitter.
Bale! Oh, that has brought this game to life for a moment, as the Tottenham loanee launches himself onto a looping cross six yards out and bounces a volley low, one that Vaclik somehow palms over his crossbar. What a stop!
Not to say that this game is exactly a snore but it's about as soporific as the late rays of sunshine that have finally folded over the Cardiff horizon. There's surely a spark somewhere to light this one up, isn't there?
Darida cracks a free-kick over the Wales penalty area now, beating out everyone in the box and only able to watch his effort skim away for a goal-kick.
Ward is pressed into action for Wales at the back once more as a looping cross falls into the hosts' penalty area and is hoofed towards the left post amid a jumble of players.
Bale goes down inside the Czech box under some attention from Celustka but it is soft to say the least and the referee is not buying anything.
With a quarter of the game gone, the hosts have only had 28 per cent of possession so far. That is a number that will not leave Robert Page pleased.
Better work from Wales now as they hurry the Czech Republic around the field, pressing them back deep in an attempt to dislodge possession. They've been too happy to let them come to them so far.
Bale picks up a neat one-two cut-back and wins Wales their first corner now, but again, the set-piece delivery is left wanting, played short and then swiftly defused by the Czech defence.
It's with games like these - matches that just feel a little bit off the pace, a little bit sluggish - where the presence of a crowd could go a long way to lifting both teams. International tribalism in the stands is sorely lacking here.
Another Wales free-kick, this time out on the left edge rather than the centre-right flank, is tipped into the Czech penalty area from Rodon, only to beat everyone in the box and skim away for the visitors to reclaim.
A foul just inside the Czech half on Bale allows Rodon to curl a free-kick towards the box, but Wales find absolutely no purchase at the end of the delivery.
Jankto finds the side netting! The Sampdoria midfielder really is taking the game to the hosts so far and he feels like he's creeping closer to finding his target.
Wales still feel like they are finding their rhythms here, but it is early doors. On the sidelines, Robert Page watches his side impassively.
Jankto steps up to launch another Czech shot again and this one isn't covered by Ward. It runs well wide of the left post though, skittering away over the turf. He could be the danger-man here.
Wales last started a World Cup qualifying campaign with consecutive defeats in September 2012 with their opening game back then also coming against Belgium. They'll be keen not to repeat history.
It's not just a big night for Wales, but one for their captain Gareth Bale in particular. The striker's comments over the international break surrounding his future has served as an unwanted distraction; he'll need to step up to the plate on this balmy Cardiff evening.
The visitors, decked out in an all-banana-coloured strip today, may be ranked well over 20 spots below their hosts, but such listings can be deceptive. Wales will have to be alert to the danger through the middle here.
What on earth is Celustka doing there? He taps an innocuous ball back into his own box with way too little power and Wilson races forward, almost besting Vaclik to it six yards out from goal. That could have been first blood to Wales.
The early threat is with the visitors, and it is Jankto who unleashes an initial shot from the edge of the Welsh penalty area. It's soft, and tame, leaving Ward untroubled.
We are underway in this 2022 World Cup qualifier between Wales and the Czech Republic!
The teams have emerged in Cardiff for the national anthems and we are moments away from kick-off.
Wales and the Czech Republic last faced each other way back in June 2007 in a European Championship qualifier, drawing 0-0 at the Millennium Stadium. Wales didn't make the tournament; their visitors did.
There are a few faces missing of course for Wales, but not due to injury. Hal-Robson Kanu, Tyler Roberts and Rabbi Matondo were all sent home earlier this week for a protocol breach - but Page has been able to welcome back James Lawrence after Covid-19 restrictions kept him out of the Mexico game.
Subs: Matej Vydra, Patrizio Stronati, Antonin Barak, Jakub Pesek, David Zima, David Pavelka, Lukas Masopust, Pavel Kaderábek, Michal Krmencik, Ales Mandous, Tomas Pekhart, Jiri Pavlenka.
CZECH REPUBLIC (4-2-3-1): Tomas Vaclik; Vladimir Coufal, Ondrej Celustka, Ondrej Kudela, Jan Boril; Tomas Holes, Tomas Soucek; Lukas Provod, Vladimír Darida, Jakub Jankto; Patrik Schick.
Subs: Ben Cabango, Wayne Hennessey, Adam Davies, Josh Sheehan, Kieffer Moore, Jonathan Williams, Chris Gunter, Tom Lawrence, Brennan Johnson, Rhys Norrington-Davies, Dylan Levitt.
WALES (3-5-2): Danny Ward; Chris Mepham, James Lawrence, Joe Rodon, Connor Roberts, Harry Wilson, Ethan Ampadu, Joe Morrell, Neco Williams; Daniel James, Gareth Bale.
With their German contingent of players available once more, skipper Vladimir Darida and Bayer Leverkusen striker Patrik Schick are the two faces drafted into the side that faced Belgium for the visitors.
It's an all-new look XI for Wales from the side who beat Mexico in a friendly over the weekend - or rather, it is back to a similar lineup to the one that faced Belgium. Joe Allen is injured, meaning Joe Morrell gets the nod from Page.
A hard-fought point against a Belgium side that laid the smackdown on Wales a few days before means that victory for the visitors will likely keep them jointly at the summit of Group E. Defeat allows Wales to trim the gap to just one point with a game in hand over them.
Indeed, Jaroslav Silhavy knows that his nation arguably stand a better chance of reaching only a second World Cup in their current guise than ever before. They came third behind Germany and Northern Ireland in qualifying last time out ahead of Russia - but a win here could prove fatal to their rivals.
Ranked at 18th in the world, the hosts - still under Robert Page's leadership for now - would be feasibly backed as the logical runner-up behind Belgium among the sides jostling for a second bite of the qualification cherry. But it is their visitors in the capital that pose the biggest threat to their ambitions.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup UEFA qualifiers, as Wales look to bounce back from opening-day defeat against joint-group leaders Czech Republic in Group E at Cardiff City Stadium.