Two goals from Aaron Ramsey and Hal Robson-Kanu helped Wales claim a 2-1 win away to Scotland. Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter
The home side had gone into the halftime break ahead after a Grant Hanley header, but was reduced to 10 men when Robert Snodgrass saw red.
In his first competitive game in charge of the national team, Gordon Strachan handed a center half spot to Blackburn defender Grant Hanley, alongside skipper Gary Caldwell, while Charlie Adam was forced to settle for a place on the bench.
The visiting side was boosted by the availability of Tottenham superstar Gareth Bale, who had been doubtful for most of the week after picking up an injury and being struck down with a virus.
Scotland was handed a huge blow within the first minute, as Steven Fletcher rose for a header with Welsh defender Ben Davies, which saw the Sunderland hitman taken from the field in a stretcher and experienced frontman Kenny Miller replacing him.
The opening stages saw the Welsh dominant, with the tormentor in chief being Bale, as he seemed to pick through the Scotland defense at will. But the team couldn’t find the final ball to get in on Allan McGregor’s goal and open the scoring.
Miller was on the end of the first chance for the home side midway through the first half as he got onto the end of a cross from the right by Chris Burke, but the Vancouver Whitecaps striker could only direct his header over the bar.
Just before the halftime whistle the unthinkable happened. Scotland took the lead as Hanley, who somehow got above Sam Ricketts, met a Charlie Mulgrew corner and divert it beyond Boaz Myhill into the Welsh net.
Wales was handed another blow after the interval as Bale failed to reappear and was replaced by Jonathan Williams, with the visiting side chasing the game.
With just over five minutes gone in the second period, Ricketts turned from sinner to saint as he managed to block a strike from Burke, with Graham Dorrans followup going over.
Next to come to the rescue for the visitors was the Myhill’s left post, as Robert Snodgrass rattled it with a curling effort from the left wing and Chris Coleman’s side breathed a sigh of relief as it was cleared from danger.
With 20 minutes remaining on the clock Wales took the lead within the space of a minute. Chris Gunter was adjudged to have been brought down inside the box by Snodgrass and that saw the Norwich midfielder receive a second yellow card and Ramsey smash the penalty off the bar and into the net.
Then substitute Andy King found space down the right wing to deliver the ball into the box for Robson-Kanu to finish off the comeback and head Wales into the lead.
Scotland spent the closing stages of the game desperately searching for a way back, and despite a Ramsey red card, the team couldn’t find the goal to help Strachan claim a point on his Hampden bow.
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- Gareth Bale
- Grant Hanley
- Robert Snodgrass