Wales Thrash Ireland

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar September 7, 2018 00:36

Wales Thrash Ireland

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By Satish Sekar at the Cardiff City Stadium © Satish Sekar (September 6th 2018)

Dream Start

Ryan Giggs’ first competitive match in charge of Wales got off to a dream start – a 4-1 drubbing of Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland. Giggs, as he had promised gave youth a chance. The first match of UEFA’s Nations League at the Cardiff City Stadium, saw Tom Lawrence, Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Connor Roberts put Wales 4-0 up before an hour. Wayne Hennessey’s clean sheet was ruined after Ramsey lost possession and substitute Shaun EWilliams dinked it over the Crystal Palace keeper for a scant consolation goal.

The Giggs era began in style before a 25657 crowd after just 6 minutes. Connor Roberts and David Brooks combined on the right to find Joe Allen who put Tom Lawrence through on the right of the area. Darren Randolph should be disappointed that Lawrence blasted it past him at his near post to put Wales ahead.

He’d be even more disappointed after 37 minutes when Aaron Ramsey made it 3, also at his near post from further out after being supplied by Ethan Ampadu. Jon waters won’t be pleased that he was dispossessed by Ampadu on the left, which allowed the young midfielder to surge forward.

Plan

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Skipper, Ashley Williams, recovered from a serious injury, and now on loan at Stoke predicted that Ampadu would be an asset for Wales.

The Chelsea youngster, whom England missed out on – Ampadu wanted to play for Wales – had a superb competitive debut. Williams, meanwhile, took no solace from the ‘revenge’ drubbing of the nation who had put Wales out of the World Cup.

The plan, he said was to qualify for major finals – European and World Cup, now they had a taste of success. Williams took a little satisfaction from the result as he admitted he had had a bad game when Wales lost to Martin O’Neill’s team at home and missed out on the World Cup.

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Too Early

“It’s just one match,” David Brooks, another of the youngsters Giggs blooded tonight said regarding whether the drubbing made Wales favourites. Just over ten minutes after Lawrence’s opener, Ben Davies’ long ball found Gareth Bale near the edge of the area on the right. Bale controlled it and dispatched it into the opposite corner.

Those with long memories may remember referee, Clément Turpin, from England’s World Cup qualifier a year ago. Dele Alli was accused of flicking a finger at either opposing skipper Martin Skrtl, or the referee – he claimed it was a playful gesture at ex team-mate Kyle Walker.

Turpin checked before allowing the goal. Two minutes earlier a Davies cross from the left was headed just over by Bale. Ten minutes before the break the Irish threatened. Captain Seamus Coleman who had suffered a terrible injury previously after a horror tackle by Neil Taylor when the teams met in March 2017, pulled it back from the byline on the right to Callum Robinson, whose shot cleared the bar.

Emphatic

A lovely move on the left ten minutes after the restart made it 4-0. Bale was involved twice. Real Madrid’s Welsh star squared it for competitive debutant Roberts to cap off an excellent match with a magnificent strike from outside the area to beat Randolph to his left. Bale put the ball in the net with a crisp strike from the left of the area into the top corner, but it was disallowed for offside.

With 25 minutes remaining substitute Shaun Williams pulled one back by dinking it over Wayne Hennessey after uncharacteristically careless play by Ramsey gave possession away. Ampadu – a definite plus tonight – got a rousing reception as he was replaced by Matthew Smith. Wales could have won by a wider margin against an under-strength Irish team.

Denmark’s one-match experiment with lower league and futsal players ended with a temporary solution, meaning Wales should meet a back to strength Denmark team on Sunday, but after tonight’s performance Giggs’ blend of experience and youth will have no fear.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar September 7, 2018 00:36

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