Gareth Bale: Wales' World Cup qualifying win over Moldova crucial

Gareth Bale
With 24 goals from 62 caps, Gareth Bale is four behind Ian Rush's Wales record of 28

Wales forward Gareth Bale said "it's time to make some more" history after scoring twice in a 4-0 opening World Cup qualifying win against Moldova.

Bale scored two second-half goals with Joe Allen and Sam Vokes netting before the break to send Wales top of Group D.

Chris Coleman's side reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016 - their first major tournament in 58 years, since playing at the 1958 World Cup finals.

"It was an important win for us to get off to a good start," said Bale, 27.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he added: "We've enjoyed the past, it's history now. It's time to make some more.

"We know these games are very difficult - the teams can be difficult to break down - but we're learning to cope with that sort of play."

The Real Madrid forward now has 24 goals for his country - with 21 coming in his last 31 caps - and is four behind Ian Rush's record for Wales.

Coleman said: "He will break it. If you look at his record in the last two years, you'd have to say he has every chance of doing it in this campaign.

"He may know he's four goals away. He won't think, 'I've got to beat him (Rush) this campaign' - he'll just go and do what he does."

Monday's result put Wales top of Group D on goal difference ahead of Austria, who beat Georgia 2-1. Serbia and the Republic of Ireland drew 2-2 in Belgrade.

Coleman's team travel to Austrian capital Vienna for their next World Cup qualifier on Thursday, 6 October.

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale claimed his second against Moldova with a penalty in the 95th minute

'We had to be patient'

Wales had been expected to see off Moldova - a side ranked 154 places below them in the world rankings - but it took until Vokes' goal in the 38th minute for the hosts to really come alive.

"It was going to be tough. We had to be patient and disciplined and we were," said Coleman.

"We had a good level of professionalism and the supporters were great.

"After 30 minutes I wasn't anxious. Had we come in at half-time 0-0 I may have changed it around to ask different questions - but when we got the goal they had to come and attack us a bit more and we exploited that.

"I know we're expected to beat Moldova but we still have to do the job. The next one is even bigger than this one."

Joe Allen and Sam Vokes scored in the first-half for Wales
Joe Allen and Sam Vokes scored in the first-half for Wales

Wales continue to improve

Captain Ashley Williams feels Wales' win against stubborn opposition shows how the team has grown in the past two years.

"It shows the progress we've made when you look back towards the Andorra games in the last campaign, which were similar [Wales struggled to a 2-1 win in Andorra in September 2014]," said the Everton defender, 32.

"We dealt with it a lot better tonight and we took our chances well.

"We took our foot off the gas a little bit in the second half - which is only to be expected I suppose when you're up - but I thought on the whole we did a professional job."

Stoke midfielder Allen, who scored his first goal for his country, added: "It was a convincing win and what we needed.

"We didn't want to come unstuck and wanted to use the momentum we had. The onus is on us now to keep it up."

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