Gareth Bale savours 'pinnacle' after breaking Wales record against China

China pressed #wales heavily for a period, but any thoughts of getting a foothold in the game were put to bed when Bale popped up again to capitalise on another mistake by their defence and put the ball past goalkeeper Yan, on 21 minutes.

Bale also holds another record on an global level as he is the youngest Welsh player to score a goal with the national team when he scored a goal against Slovakia at Euro 2008's qualification match with a free kick.

Things got even better in the second half as the winger provided an assist for Sam Vokes, before being substituted by new manager Ryan Giggs.

Wales may have failed to make this summer's World Cup, but following their thumping victory in China Bale and the Welsh national team will be hopeful of a successful European Championships qualification campaign under Giggs.

"It's a fantastic moment for Gareth and he fully deserves it".

Amid the pride and trepidation, there was also excitement at inheriting the finest generation of players in Wales' history, having reached a first semi-final at a major tournament at Euro 2016.

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There were no further goals, but the game long since decided as a contest thanks to Bale's world-class ability.

The 28-year-old has received a rapturous reception since the squad's arrival in Nanning and he thrilled those in attendance with a brilliant second-minute solo goal. I suppose when I was a little boy I never dreamed of being a record-breaker for Wales.

"It is a massive honour and achievement for me", the Los Blancos superstar told BBC Sport Wales after the game. "But in the right way, just like when I was a player", Giggs added.

"That's what we want, players looking over their shoulder".

Wales now progress to the final of the China Cup where they will face the victor of Friday's match between the Czech Republic and Uruguay. The possibility of Bale going up against Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani is enticing.

  • Delia Davidson