Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale ‘has every chance’ of breaking Wales goals record ‘this campaign’
Wales manager Chris Coleman expects Gareth Bale to break Ian Rush’s national goalscoring record after his two goals inspired the Euro 2016 semi-finalists to a 4-0 defeat of Moldova.
Bale, 27, scored three times as Wales reached the semi-finals at Euro 2016 and he struck twice in Monday’s home win over Moldova to give Coleman’s men a winning start in 2018 World Cup qualifying.
Those were the Real Madrid forward’s 23rd and 24th international goals, and with Rush now just four goals above him, Coleman has said Bale could be his country’s leading scorer by the end of the qualifying campaign.
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“He will break it. If you look at his record in the last two years, you’d have to say he has every chance of doing it in this campaign,” Coleman said.
“Knowing Balo, he may not even know about that. He just comes along and fits in with the furniture, gets on with his job.
“He may know he’s four goals away. He won’t think, ‘I’ve got to beat him (Rush) this campaign.’
“He’ll just go and do what he does, but in my opinion there’s every chance he can do that in the next nine games.”
Bale led Wales with seven goals in qualifying for Euro 2016 and his last 20 international strikes have been scored in just 31 matches.
As in France, where Wales lost to eventual champions Portugal, Bale operated against Moldova in a roaming role behind a lone striker, in this case Sam Vokes.
He teed up Vokes for the opening goal in the 38th minute with a wicked cross from the right that the Burnley striker headed past goalkeeper Ilie Cebanu.
Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen made it 2-0 with his first international goal before Bale pounced on Ion Jardan’s loose pass to add a third early in the second period.
He completed victory with a stoppage-time penalty after he had been bundled over in the box.
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Published: September 6, 2016 04:00 AM