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Wales draw as Spain, Italy stay neck and neck

That's what I remember.

Serbia's 1-1 draw with Wales in Belgrade means that Ireland remain four points clear of Wales and Austria, with only four games remaining.

Wales might need to win their final four games just to secure second place and a play-off spot. Wales set out to frustrate the Serbians, and shackle the most unsafe attacking formation in the group with 12 goals in fourfive games, and they succeeded in doing that throughout a highly accomplished first-half performance.

Aaron Ramsey's cheeky chip penalty looked to have sparked a monumental triumph for Chris Coleman's under-strength side. Are we good enough to win three or four on the bounce? You know, I am out there to enjoy myself as well, and though it was a big occasion, a big moment in this qualification campaign, I felt calm and comfortable doing it'.

Serbia looked more likely to grab a late victor but the Welsh, roared on by 1,000 away fans, held on for their fifth draw of the campaign.

Serbia were really ramping up the pressure and Joe Allen was forced into a challenge on Filip Kostic which brought the first yellow card, ruling the Stoke midfielder out of the next game with Austria in September. Serbia chose not to take Wales back to Novi Sad, the scene of that embarrassment, but Coleman admitted the painful memories came flooding back when he stepped off the plane for his Belgrade reccie.

The two European giants remain locked on 16 points at the top of Group G of UEFA qualifying after Italy saw off Liechtenstein 5-0 in Udine. You aren't going to come here and play open football, we did that before and you know what happened. Whether it's Serbia away, it doesn't matter.

It's time to start getting that winning feeling back and marrying performances like Sunday's with taking the three points on offer - do that, and we could still be in for a Russian adventure next summer!

There is no getting away from the fact that Bale's absence is a huge blow and with Robson-Kanu and Ben Woodburn, the young Liverpool forward, also missing it leaves Wales short of attacking options beyond the Burnley striker Sam Vokes.

But Coleman is confident Wales can make up the deficit as they aim for a top-two finish.

The Welsh goalkeeper had to punch away a risky Filip Kostic just after the interval and the Serbians felt they should have had two penalties in the opening stages. Obviously the further you get into qualifying the more pressure there can be to pick up points but our mentality in any camp is, whether it's the first game or the last, we try to approach it in the same way. "That's what we've got to get back".



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