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Chris Coleman hails fighting spirit as Wales secure precious World Cup qualifying point

Ross McLean
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Joe Allen opened the scoring for Wales (Source: Getty)

Wales manager Chris Coleman revelled in his side’s fighting spirit as the European Championship semi-finalists emerged from their World Cup qualifier in Vienna with a precious point after drawing 2-2 with Austria.

The visitors twice held the lead courtesy of a 20-yard half-volley from Stoke midfielder Joe Allen and unfortunate own goal by Tottenham centre-half Kevin Wimmer, only to be pegged back on each occasion by Marko Arnautovic.

A point kept Wales top of Group D with four points, but ahead of Serbia, Austria and the Republic of Ireland, who beat Georgia 1-0 in Dublin, on goal difference. The Welsh host Georgia – winless in their two matches so far – on Sunday.

“We have to be honest and say we’ll take that point,” said Coleman. “It wasn’t our best performance. To take three points we needed to be at our very best in every department but we weren’t.

“We can play a lot better but we can’t fight any harder than that. They never shied away from a challenge.”

Skipper Seamus Coleman, meanwhile, notched his first international goal in the second period of a match of few clear-cut chances as Republic of Ireland recorded their first win of the qualifying campaign.