Gareth Bale overtakes Ian Rush as Dragons' all-time top goalscorer in rout

By: ZV Football NewsPublished: 9 months ago

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Gareth Bale overtakes Ian Rush as Dragons' all-time top goalscorer in rout
GARETH BALE made history by becoming Wales' record goalscorer to hand Ryan Giggs a dream start as national boss. The Real Madrid superstar scored the first hat-trick for his country and also overtook Ian Rush with his 29th international goal in this emphatic rout against hosts China. Bale had not scored for Wales since November 2016 but made easy work of Marcello Lippi's woeful side here in the Far East to become the first Welshman to score a treble since Robert Earnshaw in 2004. Sam Vokes scored twice while 21st birthday boy Harry Wilson also netted as Giggs' men booked a China Cup final spot against either Uruguay or the Czech Republic on Monday. Giggs, who succeeded Chris Coleman in January, claimed pre-match he would more nervous on his full-time managerial debut than at any time as a player for Manchester United. Yet the 44-year-old did not have anything to worry about here in Nanning as Bale scored inside two minutes after capitalising on a Vokes flick on.   Even the fanatical Chinese crowd, who have mobbed Bale since his arrival, celebrated with cheers and applause inside the Guangxi Sports Center. Bale, who only arrived in China on Tuesday lunchtime following a near 7,500-mile trip from Madrid, showed no signs of jetlag as he held off He Guan, turned inside Wang Shenchao and fired a left-foot shot into the roof of the net after 118 just seconds. That man Bale moved level with Rush after 20 minutes as the 28-year-old forward pounced on more poor defending from the home side to run clean through and coolly wrong-foot Chinese goalkeeper Yan Junling. Vokes and the impressive Wilson sealed a perfect opening 45 minutes of Giggs' reign as Wales raced into a 4-0 half-time lead. Burnley hitman Vokes made it five after he calmly stroked the ball home following a neat Wilson pass before Bale's record-breaking moment came after 62 minutes. Bale latched onto Joe Allen's right-footed lofted pass and scored his landmark goal with his final touch of the match. Giggs congratulated Bale - replaced by Liverpool's Ben Woodburn - on his way off the pitch as Wales netted six for the first time since beating San Marino by the same scoreline in 1996. Wales line-up: (5-2-2-1) - Hennessey; Gunter, Chester (Lockyer 70), Williams, Davies (Mepham 70), John; Allen (Evans 63), King; Wilson (Watkins 70), Bale (Woodburn 63); Vokes (Bradshaw 63)
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