Gareth Bale alleviates Wales’ injuries after winning 100th cap in victory over Belarus

Gareth Bale ruled out any injuries as his 100th appearance for Wales in their 5-1 World Cup qualifying win over Belarus ended after 45 minutes.

eco Williams, Ben Davies and Connor Roberts added an Aaron Ramsey brace as Wales did light work from Belarus in Cardiff to move over the Czech Republic into second place.

Wales are already guaranteed a place in the World Cup final with their League of Nations results last year.

A positive result in their final qualifier at home to Belgium on Tuesday could secure a home advantage in a semi-final in March.

Bale seemed confident of lining up against Belgium, who reached the top spot by beating Estonia 3-1 on Saturday, in Cardiff despite his important appearance shortened.

The Real Madrid striker made his first appearance since September 8 after a tear in the muscle.

“It was always the plan to play 45,” Bale told Sky Sports after becoming the second Welshman to win 100 caps.

“I was obviously out for two months and it was always planned that if we were in the game, I would go out and try to get ready for Tuesday and see how I feel.

“I was happy to get the reception before the game and enjoy the opportunity.

“No matter how much I would have loved to have come to a standing ovation, it would have been a bit greedy. The team is the most important thing.

“I’m glad to be back. It was a difficult road to come back from injury and it was well worth it.”

Ramsey sacked Wales ahead within two minutes and Williams doubled the lead ahead of the midfield point of the first half following a second goal error by Sergei Chernik.

With Bale away, Ramsey took over the armband and penalty commitment and scored the third from the spot five minutes into the second period.

Defender Davies, with his first goal for Wales on his 68th appearance, and Roberts scored both sides of consolation from Belarus substitute Artem Kontsevoi.

Bale said: “From the first whistle we knew we had to be on it because it could go down to a goal difference. It was a great performance tonight and we are delighted.

“We only focused on this game at first, but it’s a great game now on Tuesday. We’re recovering now and preparing for that, the big one.”

Ramsey’s double took him to 20 for Wales, past Craig Bellamy and into sixth place on the all-time scoring list.

“We did what we wanted to do,” Juventus midfielder Ramsey said.

“We wanted to be on the front foot early in the game and we managed to do that. We’ll now take that on Tuesday, which will be a massive game.

“We’re just glad we’re now in a position to finish second. We’ve had some great fights with Belgium over the years and hopefully we can have another Tuesday.”

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