Wales 1 Georgia 1: Georgia’s second-half rally brings Wales back to earth

Wales' Gareth Bale reacts after coming close to scoring a second goal during the FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifying, group D match at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. (Picture: PA)
Wales' Gareth Bale reacts after coming close to scoring a second goal during the FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifying, group D match at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. (Picture: PA)
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Chris Coleman admitted Wales were punished for not “taking care of business” as they were held to a draw by Georgia.

Gareth Bale’s early header gave Wales the lead in the Group D World Cup qualifier but they failed to build on it, conceded a second-half equaliser to Tornike Okriashvili and could easily have lost the game.

Coleman said: “People will look at it as two points dropped but it might be a point gained at the end of the day, in the second half.

“We got a great start but you’ve got to take care of business. We didn’t and we were punished, we tried to come again but it was too late, they’d got a bit of confidence by then.”

Indeed, Jano Ananidze and Valeri Qazaishvili hit the crossbar for Georgia while Levan Mchedlidze wasted a glorious one-on-one opportunity on the break.

“We could have lost it in the second half but you think Georgia at home, you’ve got to take the three points,” said Coleman.

“The next game now is Serbia here (on November 12). It puts more pressure on us to take three points there and we have to deal with that.

“We went for it in the second half in terms of the formation, which left us susceptible to the counter-attack and we got away with one or two situations.

“It’s a point, we’ll take it, but it’s not what we wanted.

“I’d have been amazed if we’d gone through the campaign without a blip and without somebody giving you a little tap on the shoulder to just remind you how difficult it is at this level.

“I’m not used to being disappointed at the end of 90 minutes with this lot.

“But it’s not the end of the world, there’s a lot to play for. It’s only three games in. It’s a blip.”

Euro 2016 semi-finalists Wales were without influential midfield pair Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey through injury.

But Coleman was in no mood to make excuses after Georgia claimed their first World Cup qualifying point of the campaign.

“We’re missing certain players but I wouldn’t make excuses,” said Coleman.

“Once we go ahead we’re good enough to do better than what we did in the second half.

“We looked fatigued, we looked disjointed.

“We’ve just had a little slap around the back of the head to say: ‘hold on a minute, it’s not all plain sailing’.”

Midfielder Dave Edwards admitted Wales were “massively” disappointed at the result. “I think first half we played reasonably well, had a few chances, but after they got the goal back we were very poor,” he said.

“We went away from what we know best, we looked all over the place at times and that’s down to players. It’s definitely two points dropped.”

Georgia coach Vladimir Weiss expressed disappointment that his side had not secured the second victory of his seven-game reign. “I would have a settled for a point before kick-off, but after the game I think about our quality and good attacks,” said Weiss.