A DAVID Brooks goal against the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff earned Wales a 1-0 victory in their Nations League match and means Wales have now gone 10 games unbeaten in competitive matches with seven straight clean sheets.

Gareth Bale was back to skipper Wales in their Nations League tie against the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff.

Bale missed Wales' October games with a knee injury and was rested for the 0-0 friendly draw with the United States on Thursday.

Wales made four changes from the side which won their last Nations League game 1-0 in Bulgaria last month, with goalkeeper Danny Ward, Joe Morrell and David Brooks also coming in and Wayne Hennessey, Matthew Smith, Harry Wilson and Tyler Roberts dropping out.

Republic boss Stephen Kenny was forced to make changes as he looked for the first win of his reign at the seventh attempt.

Dara O'Shea, Kevin Long, Jayson Molumby, James McClean and Robbie Brady were drafted into the team beaten 3-0 by England in Thursday night's friendly at Wembley.

Cyrus Christie, John Egan, Conor Hourihane, Callum O'Dowda and Alan Browne made way.

The visitors, who went into the game without a goal in eight hours of football, might have ended their drought within two minutes when Brady sent an inviting free-kick to the far post, where skipper Shane Duffy mistimed his diving header to send the ball harmlessly wide.

Wales' high press forced the Republic back deep into their own half but, when they did break out, they worked their way into promising positions, with keeper Danny Ward claiming McClean's 10th-minute cross after a neat exchange between Jeff Hendrick and Adam Idah.

However, it was the home side who threatened four minutes later when central defender Joe Rodon met Daniel James' looping corner, but sent his header high and wide.

Ireland threatened twice in seconds as Neco Williams did brilliantly to prevent McClean from connecting with Daryl Horgan's 18th-minute cross before Brady fired just over from the loose ball.

But Ireland keeper Darren Randolph was called upon for the first time seconds later to field Brooks' deflected shot at the other end.

Randolph was stretched significantly further by Bale's viciously dipping 24th-minute free-kick from all of 35 yards, which he did well to tip over at full stretch.

It was Ward who was called upon on the half-hour when, after Daryl Horgan had dispossessed Ben Davies, Brady picked out McClean's run into the box and saw the Stoke man force the keeper to save with his foot.

Rodon came to the home side's rescue five minutes later, making a vital block as he recovered after Idah had cut inside him from Brady's through-ball, and the 19-year-old Norwich striker needed treatment as a result of the challenge.

Jayson Molumby and Joe Morrell were both booked following a clash after the Irishman had been penalised for a foul on Williams, although replays suggested the Welshman might have been fortunate after appearing to kick out at the Brighton midfielder.

Wales managed to work their way into a series of promising positions as the half-time whistle approached, with James and Rhys Norrington-Davies prospering down the left, but they were repeatedly guilty of failing to find a telling final ball and the break arrived with the deadlock unbroken.

Wales returned in determined mood and Bale might have done better within four minutes when Davies fed him inside the Irish penalty area and he dragged the ball on to his left foot, but he could not generate the power required to trouble Randolph.

Moore, on as a 62nd-minute replacement for Norrington-Davies, went to ground in the area under Duffy's challenge three minutes later as the pair converged on Davies' square ball, but earned only a booking for his pains.

However, Wales went ahead with 67 minutes gone when, after Duffy had got a vital touch on James' cross under pressure from Moore, Bale helped it back across goal for Brooks to head it home from point-blank range.

Substitute James Collins drilled a 76th-minute shot straight a Ward as the Republic sought a way back into the game, but it took a fine save from Randolph to deny Brooks a second goal two minutes later.

Jeff Hendrick failed to cut out a clearance on halfway and James sent Brooks through, only for the West Ham keeper to win their one-on-one battle.

Late in the game, Hendrick was shown a straight red card for bringing down a counter-attacking Tyler Roberts and Wales then just had to see out the final couple of minutes