Captain Gareth Bale called Wales’ victory over the Czech Republic “massive” for his hopes of qualifying for a first World Cup since 1958.
Bale delivered the cross for Daniel James’ late game-winner on Tuesday.
The result gave Wales their first points of the campaign, after losing their opener in Belgium.
“We didn’t get the best start against Belgium so it was extremely important to get the win tonight,” said Tottenham striker Bale on loan.
“It was a huge result. We have shown a lot of heart and desire to compete with a very physical team.
“It was very chaotic, especially in the second half, but we were ready and kept going until the end and the most important thing is to have this winner. “
The win saw Wales move up to third place in Group E, one point behind the Czech Republic in second and fourth place behind the Belgian leaders, despite having played one game less than both.
Although this is only Wales’ second game of the campaign, it looked like an important game ahead, as it did against one of their more likely rivals for qualification.
Only the group winners will automatically qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with the team finishing second before the play-offs.
Belgium, the world’s top ranked team, are the big favorites to dominate the group, while Wales have already almost guaranteed a play-off after winning their Nations League group last November.
“We have to win games to qualify and we want to win every game,” Bale told Sky Sports.
“Football doesn’t always go the way you expect it to.
Pagey [temporary manager Robert Page] Keeps us focused despite what’s going on off the pitch.
“The win is exactly what we needed. “
Wales have been troubled by numerous distractions off the pitch in recent months.
They are without manager Ryan Giggs, who had his deposit extended until May 1 after denying an assault allegation.
In his absence, deputy chief Page has stepped up his efforts to take charge of six matches in November and this month.
On Monday, Hal Robson-Kanu, Rabbi Matondo and Tyler Roberts were released from the team after “breaking protocols,” which the Football Association of Wales (FAW) declined to say.
Unfazed by the latest potential distraction, Wales dug deep to defeat the Czech Republic in an eventful encounter in which both teams had a man sent off.
“It’s an internal problem and we’ve fixed it,” Page said of the departure of Robson-Kanu, Matondo and Roberts.
“There are so many positives to tonight’s performance, I don’t want to talk about it.
“It’s done, it’s settled, it’s forgotten. We move forward. “
Page was much happier to discuss Tuesday’s result and how it bolstered Wales’ hopes of qualifying for the World Cup.
“When entering the camp, being greedy we wanted four points [from the two games] but we absolutely would have taken three points at the start, ”he said.
“Certainly after the result we had last week and with the Czech Republic’s draw with Belgium.
“We knew that a victory would put us in a good place in the group and it is absolutely done. “