Gareth Bale

Belarus 2-3 Wales: Gareth Bale the hero again after World Cup qualifier hat-trick

Max Cooper
Bale was the hero once again for Wales
Bale was the hero once again for Wales / VLADIMIR KRAINOV/Getty Images

Gareth Bale was the hero for Wales on Sunday afternoon, scoring a last-gasp winner to complete a hat-trick and snatch a 3-2 victory over Belarus.

Rob Page's men knew a win was vital in their attempts to qualify for World Cup 2022 from a tough Group E, and they started the game in decent fashion when Bale converted a penalty on six minutes to hand the visitors the lead.

But the game was flipped on its head in a mad two minute period for the Dragons. Vitali Lisakovich levelled the scores from the spot on 29 minutes, before Pavel Sedko punished some shoddy defending from the visitors to slot the ball past Danny Ward.

Luckily, Page had a not-so-secret weapon at his disposal - one of the best players in recent history.

Indeed, it was Bale who gave Welsh fans hope of snatching all three points with 20 minutes to play, capitalising after the referee had awarded the third penalty of the match. The Real Madrid star stepped up to the spot and made no mistake to pull his country level, scoring his 35th international goal in the process.

The game appeared to be petering out towards a draw as the final whistle neared, but Bale had one final trick up his sleeve to let youngster Mark Harris off the hook for a late miss.

Collecting Daniel James' cross, after Harris had missed a one-on-one, Bale swivelled to fire home at the first time of asking, with his effort just having enough power to beat the outstretched hand of Belarus goalkeeper Syarhey Chernik.

The 93rd minute effort earned Wales all three points, sparking scenes of wild celebration, and leaves the Dragons handily placed in Group E sitting second behind the Czech Republic with a game in hand.