Wales secured their place for Euro 2020 as they beat Hungary 2-0 on Tuesday in their final group game.
Aaron Ramsey scored twice for Ryan Giggs’ side in the must win game in Cardiff.
They started the day knowing that only three points see them qualify for next summer’s tournament and they did it with ease.
Ramsey was hungry for work during the early stages as Wales probed for an opening and looked comfortable in possession.
And a strong run by Daniel James ended with Bale firing a shot that was comfortably dealt with by Hungary goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi.
There were promising signs for Wales and they deservedly took a 15th-minute lead when Bale’s cross was powerfully headed home by Ramsey.
The Bale/Ramsey combination had wasted little time in coming up trumps for Wales, ensuring a dream start in the quest for Euro 2020 qualification.
It was Ramsey’s first Wales goal since September 2018, and his team continued to enjoy territorial supremacy.
Hungary had a penalty appeal waved away when Dominik Szoboszlai went down, and Wales launched a blistering counter-attack that saw Bale deliver another pinpoint cross, but Kieffer Moore’s header went wide.
Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey then pulled off a superb save to deny Szoboszlai, and he then smothered a follow-up effort from Roland Sallai.
It was a reminder to Wales that they could not switch off as Bale and company looked to close out the half and preserve their advantage.
They managed to do exactly that, but Hungary were not out of the contest despite trailing to Ramsey’s early goal.
Wales doubled their lead after 47 minutes, and again it was Ramsey who delivered the goods.
Ben Davies’ free-kick was not cleared by the Hungary defence and Moore’s shot fell to Ramsey, who powered the ball past Gulacsi.
Manager Ryan Giggs’ animated touchline reaction said it all, with Wales well on course to making it a case of mission accomplished.
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Bale then went close to a third goal for Wales, dipping a free-kick just over the Hungary crossbar with Gulacsi beaten.
Wales were knocking the ball around with a confident swagger and there seemed no way back for Hungary.
They saw out the final minutes with ease to secure their place in Euro 2020.
Scotland and Northern Ireland were both in action on Tuesday but neither could qualify for Euro 2020 and will have to rely on the play-offs.
Northern Ireland were beaten 6-1 by Germany with Serge Gnabry getting a hat-trick, Leon Goretzka netting twice and a late Julian Brandt strike while Michael Smith scored for the visitors.
Scotland beat Kazakhstan 2-1 after going a goal down in the first half. John McGinn and Steven Naismith both scored in the second half to give them the win.
Full results from Tuesday’s Euro 2020 qualifiers
Germany 6-1 Northern Ireland
Netherlands 5-0 Estonia
Slovakia 2-0 Azerbaijan
Wales 2-0 Hungary
Latvia 1-0 Austria
North Macedonia 1-0 Israel
Poland 3-2 Slovenia
Belgium 6-1 Cyprus
San Marino 0-5 Russia
Scotland 2-1 Kazakhstan
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