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Gareth Bale simply sensational for Wales in world cup playoff's

Gareth Bale scored two brilliant goals in a vintage individual performance to take Wales a step closer to qualifying for their first World Cup since 1958 with victory over Austria in their play-off semi-final.

Austria's Christoph Baumgartner hit the crossbar in the fifth minute before Bale's majestic free-kick sparked ecstatic celebrations for an already thunderous home crowd in Cardiff.

Wales' captain struck again early in the second half, shooting beautifully on the turn from a short corner.

Marcel Sabitzer's deflected shot brought Austria back into the game and, although the visitors exerted sustained pressure, Wales stood up to the challenge with a stoic defensive display.

Wales will now face Scotland or Ukraine in their play-off final, a one-off tie which was meant to be played next Tuesday, but which has been postponed because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Scotland and Ukraine's fixture is expected to be played in June, with the play-off final set to follow later the same month.

The details of that one-legged final are yet to be confirmed but, for now, Wales can savour this win in the knowledge that they are one victory away from ending their 64-year absence from World Cups.

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