Wales fail to secure qualification in front of home crowd against Israel

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Gareth Bale and co were in high hopes at the Cardiff City Stadium on a sunny evening in the Welsh Capital, with the comfort of knowing that a win would be enough to take them to Paris next year.

And as 33,000 passionately sung Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, the optimism was beyond belief. But Israel were not going to lay down and let Wales win, with qualification still possible for them too.

Wales started strongly, with the crowd clearly a telling factor, and the ball was played in behind the defence for Andy King who was 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper, who was equal to the first shot as the ball rebounded out onto the head of Aaron Ramsey who couldn't keep his header down.


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However the main theme for the rest of the game was that it was slightly difficult to watch and Wales could not find that clinical edge that would secure their progress. Israel rarely threatened Wayne Hennessy's goal, with their first shot coming midway through the second half.

Wales pressed and pressed and pressed and not even Gareth Bale, their goalscoring hero in Cyprus on Thursday could find the back of the net.

His best chance came late in the second half, when he found himself space for a shot from the edge of the area, which the goalkeeper palmed away in the six yard area, and Sam Vokes could not react quick enough.

Deep into injury time, Wales thought they had their goal. A long ball forward was flicked on by Bale and MK Dons' Simon Church headed the ball over the goalkeeper and in, only for the linesman to flag for offside and cut short Welsh celebrations.

Wales now have two games remaining against Bosnia and Andorra in which they need only one point out of a maximum six to secure qualification.

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