Daniel James’ belated header gave Wales a hard-fought 1-0 World Cup qualifier with the Czech Republic

The visitors were the better team in the first half and saw Jakub Jankto close several times, although Gareth Bale missed a great chance to put Wales in the lead

Both teams were reduced to 10 in the second half at Cardiff City Stadium when Patrik Schick was sacked for the visitors before Connor Roberts received his marching orders late

But James’ fourth international goal earned Wales three key points to qualify for the 2022 World Cup The Red Dragons extended their unbeaten run in home games to 12 games

The hosts only switched once from the side, which began with the 3-1 loss to Belgium in Leuven, when Joe Morrell stood in for the injured Joe Allen

Jaroslav Silhavy made two changes to his side’s 1-1 draw with Belgium Vladimir Darida and Schick returned to the starting XI after a missed game on Saturday evening due to coronavirus restrictions in Germany

Wales players were warmed up wearing red jerseys that read “Show Racism the Red Card” emblazoned on the front following alleged racist abuse by Ben Cabango and Rabbi Matondo following their 1-0 triumph over Mexico

And they knew their strong message had to be backed up with a strong performance on the pitch against a team that had scored four points in their first two qualifiers

The first signs showed how difficult the Red Dragons were The physicality and size of the visitors, as well as their ability to quickly move up the playing field on the deck, caused problems in the early stages

After Harry Wilson hit goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik with a shot, the lively Jankto rolled a shot just past the edge of the box

The Sampdoria star shot into the side netting after a shot on goal as Wales battled for the ball under the intense press of the Czech Republic

Kieffer Moore will no doubt have been watching from the bench and feeling like he might be just the tonic his team needed to get the game under control – although his looking Cardiff boss Mick McCarthy could be forgiven that he was happy about his star striker was not put through the mill again

It will undoubtedly have proven worrying for Rob Page, whose team invited pressure after failing to play themselves out successfully from behind on multiple occasions – although their resilience in the back was at least reassuring

After looking dull upstairs, a James striker panicked the Czech defense and it looked like the whole world would see Bale give Wales a close-range volley from Neco Williams’ cross would, but Vaclik saved with one hand to reject the Tottenham man

It gave the hosts a lift with Bale blocking a volley from the next corner

Although the guests finished the opening half strongly despite this little wobble and saw Darida far on the head after two attempts in quick succession

They survived a penalty late when James hit the deck in the penalty area, although replay showed the defender was getting an important touch on the ball as the break score stayed the same

Wales decided against making changes before the second half, although their task was made easier just three minutes after the restart when Schick showed a red card for shoving Roberts in the face after Ward received a free kick

Page wasted little time showing off his cards when Moore was sent for Chris Mepham, which was a clear sign of the home team’s desire to take advantage of their numerical advantage

They owed James Lawrence, however, for maintaining the level of play before the hour when he came to the rescue to defeat Luke Provod, who was ready to tap an empty net after circling Ward, until the defense attorney intervened

Wales saw more of the ball and after 60 Minute for an opening when James’ cross was shot into the net by Bale

But the visitors continued to threaten and wanted a free kick shortly afterwards when Provod fell into the box under a challenge from Lawrence despite nothing being given

Jonny Williams replaced Cardiff teammate Wilson when in truth it was the Czech Republic more likely to break the impasse and the numbers were leveled by 13 minutes when Roberts showed a second yellow card for a soft Foul

James was unable to completely circle Vaclik after holding onto Moore’s pass 10 minutes before the start of the game

But the Manchester United winger made a formidable impression a moment later as he rose above his marker to go home and bring Bale’s centimeter cross home to bring his side forward

And Joe Rodon made a heroic block in stoppage time to make sure the men from Page took all three points to take their first qualifying campaign win, scoring a goal in the process

Wales: Ward; Mepham (Moore 56), Rodon, J. Lawrence; C. Roberts, Morrell, Ampadu, N Williams; James, Wilson (J. Williams 76), Bale (C)

Czech Republic: Vaclik; Coufal (Vydra 87), Celustka, Kudela (Barak 87), Boril; Holes (Krmencik 53), soucek; Provod (Kaderabek 82), Darida (C), Jankto (Masopust 82); Schick

Daniel James keeps the ball in play before crossing from the left, but Kieffer Moore is penalized for a soft foul

What a challenge from James Lawrence against Lukas Provod, who missed the gate and lapped Danny Ward

Chris Mepham deflects the danger from the free kick, and then the offside flag is hoisted

Wales Football

World News – GB – Daniel James wins Wales’ lively World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic

Source: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/wales-vs-czech-republic-live-20279338