Goalkeeper's own goal denies Wales a win against Czech Republic

Aaron Ramsey and Daniel James score for Wales in 2-2 draw with Czech Republic

Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward scored an own goal that helped prevent his team beating the Czech Republic.

Wales battled back after Ward scored, although they could only manage a 2-2 draw in Prague.

The draw keeps their World Cup qualifying hopes alive. Both teams each have eight points but Wales has a game in hand, as they battle for second place in the group behind runaway leaders Belgium.

The returning Aaron Ramsey gave Wales a 36th-minute lead, which was quickly wiped out by Jakub Pesek after Ward failed to gather Filip Novak's shot.

Ward was left even more red-faced four minutes after the restart after failing to control Ramsey's back-pass and getting the final touch on the Czech Republic's second goal.

However, Daniel James scored to secure the point for Wales in a thrilling contest.

Wales looked sharp throughout the game, even without star forward Gareth Bale who sat on the bench due to a hamstring injury.

Czech Republic coach Jaroslav Silhavy also missed a number of starters, but key striker Patrik Schick, who was suspended for two games after receiving a red card in Cardiff, was available.

Only the group winners directly qualify for next year’s tournament in Qatar, but there will be a route to the finals via play-off games for some second place teams.

The Czech Republic will play against Belarus in Kazan, Russia, on Monday, while Wales travels to Estonia.

Belgium has no World Cup qualifiers in this international window because the team is playing in the Nations League final four. They will play European champion Italy on their turf in Turin with hopes of catching the bronze this Sunday.

In Tallinn, Estonia beat Belarus 2-0 for the first victory of its campaign to move to fourth with four points, Belarus is bottom, a point back.

Updated: October 9th 2021, 4:05 AM
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