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Friday 15 December 2017

Wales get timely 'Bale-out' in Andorra

Andorra stunned Wales with their first competitive goal for 10 years to take a shock fifth-minute lead in their Euro 2016 qualifier.

Ildefons Lima slotted the spot-kick controversially awarded by fifth official Mitja Zganec behind the goal after adjudging Neil Taylor had pushed Cristian Martinez.

Wales were knocked out of their stride but Gareth Bale managed to calm nerves when he headed home Ben Davies' cross after 22 minutes.

Bale's 13th goal for his country settled Wales and Ramsey cut into the area to send Andorra alarm bells, ringing but the hosts just managed to smother the danger.

The Real Madrid star trademark dipping set-piece saved his side's embarrassment as they got their winner in the 81st minute having struggled all night on a poor astro surface.

Meanwhile, goals from Simone Zaza and Leonardo Bonucci gave new coach Antonio Conte victory in his first competitive game as Italy beat Norway 2-0 in Group H.

Italy took the lead in the 16th minute when Zaza's tame shot deflected off Haavard Nortveidt, wrong-footed keeper Orjan Nyland and bounced into the net.

Norway enjoyed plenty of possession but failed to create any real clear-cut chances and visiting captain Bonucci made it 2-0 after 62 minutes, rising unmarked to power home a downward header from substitute Manuel Pasqual's cross.

Zaza also had two excellent chances late in the game, oneeffort coming back off the crossbar and another being clearedoff the line.

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