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Wales World Cup qualifying fixtures released

Wales will look to make the most of home advantage when their World Cup qualifying campaign gets underway next September.

Chris Coleman's men play three of their first four matches in front of their own fans, with the opening match against Moldova followed by games against Georgia and Serbia later that Autumn.

Wales travel to Austria on October 6th, with a trip to face their remaining Group D opponents, the Republic of Ireland, the following March.

Gareth Bale celebrates a Wales victory Credit: PA photo

June 2017 sees Wales make the return trip to Serbia, with the remaining qualifiers - including Moldova and Georgia away, and Austria and the Irish at home - inked in for that Autumn.

Wales fans might feel quietly confident of their team's chances of qualifying for their first finals since 1958, but many will hope it doesn't come down to the last game: that match, against Ireland, comes just three days after the away fixture in Georgia, with a six hour flight from Tbilisi to factor in.

Speaking from Russia, Wales FA Chief Executive Jonathan Ford admitted there were "tougher" groups, but also said there were easier ones too:

Wales fixtures - World Cup Qualifying Group D:

Monday, 5 September 2016 Wales v Moldova Kick off: 7.45pm

Thursday, 6 October 2016 Austria v Wales Kick off: 7.45pm

Sunday, 9 October 2016 Wales v Georgia Kick off: 5.00pm

Saturday, 12 November 2016 Wales v Serbia Kick off: 7.45pm

Friday, 24 March 2017 Republic of Ireland v Wales Kick off: 7.45pm

Sunday, 11 June 2017 Serbia v Wales Kick off: 7.45pm

Saturday, 2 September 2017 Wales v Austria Kick off: 7.45pm

Tuesday, 5 September 2017 Moldova v Wales Kick off: 7.45pm

Friday, 6 October 2017 Georgia v Wales Kick off: 5.00pm

Monday, 9 October 2017 Wales v Republic of Ireland Kick off: 7.45pm

Wales pleased with World Cup group

Wales will face Austria, Serbia, Moldova, the Republic of Ireland and Georgia in group D for the World Cup qualifiers next Autumn.

The announcement was made at a ceremony at St Petersburg in Russia.

Chris Coleman's men entered the draw as one of the top seeds.

Wales haven't qualified for a World Cup final since Sweden in 1958.

There's been optimism they may end that run after recent performances in the Euro qualifiers, with the men in red set to progress to the finals in France next summer.

Coleman said he was "happy" with the draw.

"It didn't worry me about who we would draw, it's all about what we do" he added.



First Minister congratulates Wales on Belgium win

The First Minister has sent his congratulations to the Wales team after a 1-0 win against Belgium in Cardiff.

Wales now have a three-point lead at the top of Group B with four games left to play and the victory means they will be among the top seeds for next month's World Cup draw in Russia.

Bale helps Wales beat Belgium in Euro 2016 qualifier

Wales produced one of the best victories in their history to beat Belgium 1-0 and take a massive step towards qualifying for next summer's European Championships.

Gareth Bale's first-half goal. Credit: PA Images

Belgium came into the game at the Cardiff City Stadium ranked second in the world and having lost only one of their last 17 matches but Gareth Bale's 25th minute goal - his 17th for Wales - rewarded a heroic display.

Wales were the stronger team in the first 45 minutes with Belgium coming back stronger in the second half but they failed to make any change to the scoreboard.

Credit: PA Images

The win puts Wales on the brink of qualifying for their first major tournament since 1958.

The Football Association of Wales took to Twitter to thank fans for the sell-out attendance.

Belgium fans looking slightly disheartened at the final score. Credit: PA Images

Wales now have a three-point lead at the top of Group B with four games left to play and the victory means they will be among the top seeds for next month's World Cup draw in Russia.

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