Football/Soccer

Chris Coleman praises Welsh players after draw in Serbia

Serbia's Aleksandar Mitrovic runs towards the mascot as he celebrates scoring his side's equaliser against Wales
PA Reporter

World Cup 2018 Qualifying Group D: Serbia 1 Wales 1

WALES boss Chris Coleman was proud of his players following the 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw in Serbia.

Coleman's side, without the suspended Gareth Bale, were heading for victory as Aaron Ramsey fired the visitors ahead from the penalty spot in the 35th minute following a foul on Sam Vokes in the area.

But, like he did in Cardiff last November, Aleksandar Mitrovic denied Wales victory by netting a 73rd-minute equaliser.

Coleman told Sky Sports: "It was a great point. We were 1-0 up, they huffed and puffed but they were not peppering Wayne Hennessey.

"You expect a tough game when you come here but I thought over the 90 minutes we had the better chances and the gameplan worked to a tee.

"We are not going to come here and play open football. We did that before and know what happened."

Wales' draw, their fifth in Group D, has left them four points behind Serbia and the Republic of Ireland with four matches remaining.

But Coleman is confident Wales can make up the deficit as they aim for a top-two finish.

"It is an exciting group," Coleman added.

"I know people look at our four points with four to play, can we bridge that gap? Absolutely. One hundred per cent we can bridge that gap. We are looking forward to the challenges left in his campaign."

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Football/Soccer