9 September 2014 23:40
Chris Coleman bemoaned the state of the pitch after Gareth Bale’s brace rescued a 2-1 win for Wales in their Euro 2016 qualifier in Andorra.
Bale scored both of Wales’ goals – the second a stunning free-kick nine minutes from time – on Tuesday as Coleman’s side came from behind to claim an unconvincing win after an Ildefons Lima had given Andorra a shock lead in the sixth minute with their first competitive goal in four years from the penalty spot.
Despite Bale’s leveller in the 22nd minute, Andorra appeared set to hold on for only their sixth point in 83 qualifiers, but the Real Madrid winger produced another display of quality from a late set-piece to seal the victory, which was marred in stoppage time by an apparent injury to Aaron Ramsey.
And Coleman was quick to cite the playing surface as the primary reason for his side’s below-par showing.
“I can say it now but when we arrived and saw the state of the pitch my heart sank,” Coleman told Sky Sports.
“It shouldn’t be allowed at this level, but we got the three points and everyone else has got to come here and play. It’s a great start for us.”
But the former Fulham boss was understandably full of praise for match-winner Bale.
He added: “There are probably another two players like that, [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi, who can do something like that, do something magical.”
Bale shared Coleman’s sentiments surrounding the pitch but stressed the importance of the result as Wales seek to qualify for a first major tournament since 1958.
“I can’t describe how bad, bobbly and hard the pitch was to deal with. We said at the start that the most important thing was to get three points,” Bale said.
“Other teams are going to find it difficult coming here so for us to get three points is important. We want to qualify and you have to come to places like this and get victories.”