Gareth Bale hat trick rescues Wales from Belarus embarrassment

Gareth Bale scored a hat trick, including a dramatic stoppage-time winner, as Wales beat Belarus 3-2 in a back-and-forth World Cup qualifying game.

Defeat would have left Wales facing an uphill task to qualify from Group E but after the win, which came courtesy of a stoppage-time winner, they are third, a point behind Czech Republic with a game in hand.

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Wales made a dream start, taking the lead on five minutes through a Bale penalty before Vitali Lisakovich and Pavel Sedko scored on 29 and 30 minutes to turn the game in Belarus' favour.

Gareth Bale celebrates during his hat-trick heroics away to Belarus.
AP Photo/Alexei Nasyrov

Real Madrid star Bale pulled Wales back level through another spot kick on 69 minutes and then scored a dramatic late winner deep in added time with a low shot to beat Belarus goalkeeper Sergei Chernik.

Wales will look to build on the win when they face Estonia in Cardiff on Wednesday.