Wales stalwart Craig Bellamy delighted to avoid cruel end to international career

Craig Bellamy calls time on his international career. Photo: PA

Craig Bellamy was happy to finish his final home game for Wales on the winning side, even if he admitted he would have liked to have taken a late penalty which was instead missed by Aaron Ramsey.

Bellamy, who plans to retire from international football after Tuesday's final World Cup qualifier in Belgium, set up Simon Church for the 77th-minute goal which gave Wales a 1-0 win over Macedonia.

Ramsey missed an 85th-minute penalty - insisting he offered Bellamy the chance to take it first - but Wales hung on for three points which relieve the pressure on manager Chris Coleman.

"It was a good win," Bellamy told Sky Sports 3. "The penalty at the end would have been nice but 'Rambo' takes all the penalties and in the long run I'm sure he'll score plenty more.

"I know football can have a cruel ending so I'm delighted to have won. I'm also happy I didn't get booked, I was wary of the referee because he wasn't the greatest in the world.

"It's a great honour to play for your country and to do it 77 times, it's just the greatest thing."

Ramsey was left wishing Bellamy had accepted his offer of the spot-kick after seeing his shot saved by Tome Pacovski, but was happy with the end result.

"He said, 'You take it, you're the captain of the team," Ramsey said. "I wish I did give it to him now.

"We haven't won in a while and it was always going to be difficult going into the last 10 minutes 1-0 up with them trying to get an equaliser.

"I think it was natural for us to be a bit nervous but I think we deserved the win in the end."

While the win gave Bellamy the perfect swansong, it was just as important to Coleman who has come under pressure with Wales fighting to avoid last place in the group.

"I thought we were brilliant," the manager said. "With the changes we had to make, we were missing a lot of players, but we got a great debut from Declan John so I'm delighted for him.

"To a man we stood our ground. We had to ride our luck a little bit but we played good football and took our chances. I thought our lads were magnificent."

Coleman admitted it was a nervous end, but could have no complaints regarding Ramsey, despite that missed spot-kick.

"'Rambo' was again breathtaking. At times he does things not many can do. When you need someone to put a foot on the ball and give you a breather he can do that.

"Then he missed the penalty but he certainly struck it hard enough. But the players kept their focus and got the three points they deserved."

Wales now head to Belgium to finish their campaign against Group A's impressive leaders, who have booked their ticket to Brazil.

Asked how he would prepare for the challenge, Coleman was blunt.

"I've ordered 23 tin hats for next Tuesday," he said. "It's going to be hard."