World Cup Qualification UEFA / Matchday 1
Cardiff City Stadium / 24.03.2022
Wales v Austria live updates - Hosts triumph to set up World Cup play-off final against Scotland or Ukraine
Looking for an in-depth report on the match? Well, look no further.
Bale brace sees Wales win play-off semi-final against Austria
FULL TIME - WALES 2-1 AUSTRIA
It's another Bale masterclass in Cardiff. Wales will now face either Scotland or Ukraine for a place at Qatar 2022.
JOHNSON ALMOST SCORES!
A Wales counter-attack right at the death almost ends with a goal for the substitute, only for Lindner to save. Meanwhile, Williams has been booked for timewasting.
BALE OFF TO A STANDING OVATION
... with Chris Mepham coming on in his place.
VISITORS MAKE ANOTHER CHANGE
... with Lainer swiftly hooked for Michael Gregoritsch.
ANOTHER CAUTION FOR AUSTRIA
... with Lainer the latest player to go into the book.
FIRST CHANGE FOR WALES
The hosts' back line has held strong so far and we're now into substitution territory. Brennan Johnson comes on for James.
DOUBLE SWITCH FOR AUSTRIA
... with Baumgartner coming off for Andreas Weimann and Schlager swapping out for Valentino Lazaro.
AUSTRIA LUCKY NOT TO CONCEDE A PENALTY?
Bale steps up for another free kick but, this time, it slams off the wall. He appeals furiously for a handball but, though replays show that it hit Sabitzer on the arm, VAR declines to intervene.
JAMES WASTES ANOTHER CHANCE
Wales counter from an Austrian corner and James goes one-on-one once more, but a poor touch allows Nicolas Seiwald to get back and make a last-ditch tackle. The visitors make a change, Laimer coming off for Sasa Kalajdzic.
JAMES FAILS TO BEAT LINDNER AGAIN
... sprinting onto a perfectly weighted pass from Ramsey, only to shoot straight at the Austria goalkeeper.
It's a horrible moment for Davies, who sticks out a foot in an attempt to block a shot from Sabitzer and accidentally sends the ball looping over Hennessey and into the back of the net. Game on.
BALE ALMOST SCORES A THIRD!
With a burst of pace which belies his age, Bale gets in behind Hinteregger and tears towards goal. He attempts to curl a shot into the far corner, but it drifts over the crossbar.
FIRST BOOKING FOR WALES
Wilson is cautioned after catching Xaver Schlager on the edge of the area. Alaba steps up to take the free kick, but hits the wall.
Bale plays a beautiful pass over the top to James, who leaves Hinteregger in his wake. He bears down on goal but, with the angle narrowing, he fails to beat Lindner. The linesman's flag goes up belatedly but, nonetheless, he should have done better there.
Wilson presses high up the pitch and wins the ball, moving it on to James. He earns a corner for Wales, taking it himself.
He combines with Wilson once more, playing a short-one two before whipping an inswinging cross into the area. Ben Davies touches it to the feet of Bale, who turns on his heel and leathers a shot into the far corner.
ARNAUTOVIC NODS WIDE
... then follows up with another header straight into the arms of Hennessey after Williams makes a mistake in possession.
SET PIECE SQUANDERED
Alaba wins a corner from Roberts, then plays a short one-two with Sabitzer before lofting a cross into the box. Wales clear their lines in straightforward fashion, initiating a counter-attack which eventually fizzles out.
SECOND HALF KICKS OFF!
We're back underway at the Cardiff City Stadium.
End of 1st Half
HALF TIME - WALES 1-0 AUSTRIA
After an end-to-end start to the game, Bale's stunner gave Wales the momentum. They end the first half with 37 per cent possession having adopted a counter-attacking stance following the goal, but they had four shots on target to Austria's one and will be by far the happier side at the break.