Gareth Bale inspired Wales to an impressive win over Iceland in their friendly at Cardiff City Stadium.

The Real Madrid star's accurate free-kick allowed James Collins to head Wales into an early lead.

Ashley Williams's own goal brought Iceland level before the break.

But Sam Vokes restored Wales's lead when Bale's shot was blocked on the line, before Bale claimed a deserved goal with a driving run and classy finish into the far corner.

That was the first time that Wales had scored three goals in a game since Chris Coleman was appointed manager in January 2012.

The result, and the performance, was the perfect start for Wales' build-up towards their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, which begins next September away to Andorra.

Iceland just missed out on a World Cup finals place after losing in the play-offs and seemed ideal opponents to provide Wales with a good, stiff work-out.

Wales making net gains

  • The win over Iceland was the first time Wales have scored three goals during Chris Coleman's reign
  • The last time Wales scored more than two goals before Wednesday night was against another Nordic side - beating Norway 4-1 in a friendly in November 2011

The visitors arrived with a full-strength side, while Wales were without injured midfielders Aaron Ramsey, Joe Ledley, David Vaughan and striker Simon Church..

It gave Manchester City 20-year-old Emyr Huws the chance to win his first cap after being named in the starting line-up.

Huws - who has been impressing on loan at Birmingham City - was given the holding role, with Joe Allen, Hal Robson-Kanu, Andy King and Bale ahead of him across the pitch.

Coleman had suggested before the game that he might play Bale for the whole game, despite a gruelling Madrid derby last weekend.

But there was no sign that the Real Madrid star was looking to conserve his energy.

Given licence to surge down the right, Bale created the first goal - winning the free-kick that he then arced in left-footed for Collins to head home.

The world's most expensive player was again at the centre of two more good Wales chances, first cutting inside to bring a save out of Hannes Halldorsson, then teeing up Robson-Kanu, who failed to hit the target with his header from nine yards.

Iceland had been largely pinned back by Wales' impressive start but found an equaliser when Williams inadvertently diverted Johann Gudmundsson's shot, wrong-footing Wayne Hennessey in the Wales goal.

Vokes, in fine scoring form for Burnley in the Championship this season, had a strong plea for a penalty turned down as he battled for King's lofted through-ball, but Wales had to settle for a 1-1 score at half-time.

Bale continued to torment the Iceland defence after the break and one of his forays resulted in Wales retaking the lead.

Skipping past Ari Skulason, Bale slid the ball towards goal with the outside of his boot. Kari Arnason did brilliantly to get his body in the way but the ball sat up nicely for Vokes to bundle in from a yard.

Bale capped his performance with Wales's third, rounding Solvi Jonsson's rather agricultural attempt to stop him near the halfway line before bearing down on goal.

Three Iceland defenders closed on the Galactico, but Bale just shifted the ball a step to the left before hammering the ball into the far corner.

With the match won, Bale was given a rest for the last 20 minutes - much to the relief of those in blue shirts and probably Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Iceland manager Lars Lagerback had revealed before the game that he had come close to replacing John Toshack as Wales boss in 2010.

But Coleman showed his own personal progress by matching his more experienced counterpart in the tactical battle - although every manager should be so lucky to have a Bale in their side.

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (9)

Wales

  • 01 Hennessey
  • 02 Gunter
  • 03 Taylor
  • 04 Huws
  • 05 Collins (Gabbidon - 45' )
  • 06 Williams (Ricketts - 64' )
  • 08 Robson-Kanu (Davies - 88' )
  • 07 Allen
  • 09 Vokes
  • 10 King (Collison - 76' )
  • 11 Bale (Williams - 72' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Myhill
  • 13 Matthews
  • 14 Gabbidon
  • 15 Ricketts
  • 16 Davies
  • 17 Collison
  • 18 Richards
  • 19 Williams
  • 20 Easter
  • 21 Williams

Iceland

  • 01 Halldórsson
  • 18 Bjarnason
  • 23 Skúlason (Jonsson - 84' Booked )
  • 17 Gunnarsson
  • 14 Arnason
  • 06 Sigurdsson (Ottesen - 45' )
  • 07 Gudmundsson
  • 10 Sigurdsson
  • 09 Sigthorsson (Sverrisson - 76' )
  • 11 Finnbogason (Bjarnason - 45' )
  • 21 Hallfredsson

Substitutes

  • 02 Saevarsson
  • 03 Jonsson
  • 04 Jónsson
  • 05 Ottesen
  • 08 Bjarnason
  • 12 Gunnleifsson
  • 13 Sverrisson
  • 15 Danielsson
  • 16 Skulason
Ref: Elmar Saar

Match Stats

Shots

18 7

On target

7 2

Corners

5 4

Fouls

10 14

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Wales 3, Iceland 1.

90:00 +3:00 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Wales 3, Iceland 1.

90:00 +2:01

Foul by Sam Ricketts (Wales).

90:00 +2:01

Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

90:00 +1:05

Attempt missed. Theodor Bjarnason (Iceland) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

90:00 +0:19 Booking

Booking Kristinn Jonsson (Iceland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90:00 +0:10

Jonathan Williams (Wales) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +0:10

Foul by Kristinn Jonsson (Iceland).

89:57

Attempt saved. Björn Sverrisson (Iceland) header from very close range is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson with a cross.

89:35

Corner, Iceland. Conceded by Daniel Gabbidon.

88:06

Attempt blocked. Emil Hallfredsson (Iceland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

87:34

Foul by Emyr Huws (Wales).

87:34

Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

87:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wales. Ben Davies replaces Hal Robson-Kanu.

85:40

Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales).

85:40

Kári Arnason (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:56

Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:56

Foul by Theodor Bjarnason (Iceland).

83:46 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Iceland. Kristinn Jonsson replaces Ari Freyr Skúlason.

82:53

Attempt saved. Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson with a cross.

82:32

Corner, Iceland. Conceded by Daniel Gabbidon.

81:48

Foul by Neil Taylor (Wales).

81:48

Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

78:57

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Aron Gunnarsson.

78:54

Attempt blocked. Daniel Gabbidon (Wales) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

78:52

Attempt blocked. Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Allen.

78:17

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Hannes Thór Halldórsson.

78:15

Attempt saved. Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

77:34

Foul by Kári Arnason (Iceland).

77:34

Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales) wins a free kick on the left wing.

76:41

Offside, Wales. Hal Robson-Kanu tries a through ball, but Jonathan Williams is caught offside.

75:57 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Iceland. Björn Sverrisson replaces Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.

75:22 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wales. Jack Collison replaces Andy King.

74:45

Attempt missed. Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Theodor Bjarnason.

71:28 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wales. Jonathan Williams replaces Gareth Bale.

70:44

Foul by Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Iceland).

70:44

Neil Taylor (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:30 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Wales 3, Iceland 1. Gareth Bale (Wales) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Andy King.

63:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wales. Sam Ricketts replaces Ashley Williams.

62:55 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Wales 2, Iceland 1. Sam Vokes (Wales) header from very close range to the top right corner.

62:53

Attempt blocked. Gareth Bale (Wales) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is blocked. Assisted by Ashley Williams.

60:50

Foul by Sölvi Geir Ottesen (Iceland).

60:50

Wayne Hennessey (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:40

Attempt blocked. Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Iceland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

60:08

Corner, Iceland. Conceded by Neil Taylor.

58:10

Foul by Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland).

58:10

Joe Allen (Wales) wins a free kick on the left wing.

57:49

Attempt missed. Emyr Huws (Wales) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

55:47

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Ari Freyr Skúlason.

55:45

Attempt blocked. Gareth Bale (Wales) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Allen.

53:33

Attempt missed. Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Sam Vokes.

51:02

Foul by Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland).

51:02

Emyr Huws (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:02

Attempt missed. Gareth Bale (Wales) left footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

46:22

Foul by Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland).

46:22

Gareth Bale (Wales) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:48

Foul by Emil Hallfredsson (Iceland).

45:48

Emyr Huws (Wales) wins a free kick on the left wing.

45:00

Second Half begins Wales 1, Iceland 1.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Iceland. Birkir Bjarnason replaces Alfred Finnbogason.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Iceland. Sölvi Geir Ottesen replaces Ragnar Sigurdsson.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wales. Daniel Gabbidon replaces James Collins.

45:00 +0:10 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Wales 1, Iceland 1.

44:51

Attempt missed. Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Gareth Bale.

40:24

Attempt missed. Andy King (Wales) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Neil Taylor.

39:04

Foul by Theodor Bjarnason (Iceland).

39:04

Neil Taylor (Wales) wins a free kick on the left wing.

38:03

Offside, Iceland. Hannes Thór Halldórsson tries a through ball, but Kolbeinn Sigthorsson is caught offside.

34:32

Attempt blocked. James Collins (Wales) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

33:57

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Johann Berg Gudmundsson.

31:38

Ragnar Sigurdsson (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:38

Foul by Sam Vokes (Wales).

31:12

Foul by Emil Hallfredsson (Iceland).

31:12

Chris Gunter (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

30:21

Kári Arnason (Iceland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

30:21

Foul by Sam Vokes (Wales).

29:16

Offside, Iceland. Kolbeinn Sigthorsson tries a through ball, but Gylfi Sigurdsson is caught offside.

27:31

Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

27:31

Foul by Ashley Williams (Wales).

26:55

Foul by Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (Iceland).

26:55

Chris Gunter (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

25:16 Goal scored

Goal! Own Goal by Ashley Williams, Wales. Wales 1, Iceland 1.

24:45

Foul by James Collins (Wales).

24:45

Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

22:17

Attempt missed. Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Gareth Bale.

21:27

Ashley Williams (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

21:27

Foul by Theodor Bjarnason (Iceland).

20:54

Foul by James Collins (Wales).

20:54

Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

19:54

Attempt missed. Joe Allen (Wales) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Andy King.

17:53

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Theodor Bjarnason.

17:12

Attempt saved. Gareth Bale (Wales) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Joe Allen.

15:07

Emil Hallfredsson (Iceland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

15:07

Foul by Andy King (Wales).

14:13

Corner, Iceland. Conceded by Ashley Williams.

14:11

Attempt blocked. Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (Iceland) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson.

13:13

Attempt saved. Gareth Bale (Wales) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Chris Gunter.

11:29 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Wales 1, Iceland 0. James Collins (Wales) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Gareth Bale with a cross following a set piece situation.

11:04

Foul by Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland).

11:04

Gareth Bale (Wales) wins a free kick on the right wing.

10:16

Foul by Kári Arnason (Iceland).

10:16

Sam Vokes (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

8:27

Offside, Wales. Chris Gunter tries a through ball, but Sam Vokes is caught offside.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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