Russia 2 - 1 Wales
by Badfinger Taffy (U2169089) 08 September 2008
Wales went down by 2 goals to 1 in Moscow against a technically very good Russian side. Bale missed a penalty early in the first half however Russia got one back to go in to the break 1-0 up. Wales came out for the second half looking a different team and eventually scored to make it 1-1.
They are one of Europe's top four sides and we've got an injury list as long as your arm Wales Manager John ToshackA late Russian goal eventually gave the home side victory but Wales fought until the end and will be disappointed with not coming away with a point. With other results pretty much going Wales's way the defeat could of been worse for the table position.
Russia: Akinfeev, Aniukov, Kolodin, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zyryanov, Torbinsky (Saenko 59), Semshov, Semak (Pogrebnyak 74), Arshavin, Pavlyuchenko (Bystrov 90).
Subs Not Used: Malafeev, Vasili Berezutsky, Alexei Berezutsky, Yanbaev.
Goals: Pavlyuchenko 22 pen, Pogrebnyak 81.
Wales: Hennessey, Gunter, Morgan, Ashley Williams, Bale, Davies, Fletcher, Robinson (Ricketts 46), Edwards (Steve Evans 77), Ledley, Vokes (Ched Evans 62).
Subs Not Used: Myhill, Stock, Cotterill, Earnshaw.
Goals: Ledley 67.
Azerbaijan 0-0 Liechtenstein R
Finland 3-3 Germany R
Tonight Wales will be in Moscow to take on group 4 favourites Russia in the second match of the 2010 world cup qualifying matches. This will be the second time Wales have been grouped with the Russians; Wales' only games were in their two-legged Euro 2004 qualifying play-off. Wales held the Russians to an impressive goalless draw in Moscow before blowing their big chance in front of their own fans at a packed Millennium Stadium four days later by losing 1-0.
Russia are currently ranked 12th in the FIFA world rankings and although they failed to qualify for the last World Cup they did reach the Euro 2008 semi finals where they lost to the eventual winners Spain 3-0. They have a very talented squad starting with keeper Igor Akinfeev who at 22 has already won 24 caps, defenders Sergey Ignashevich, Aleksandr Anyukov and Aleksei Berezutskiy who between them have well over 100 caps. The midfield is packed with experience in the form of Sergei Semak (52 caps), Dynamo Moscow’s Igor Semshov (33 Caps) and Lokomotiv Moscow’s Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (28 Caps). Up front they include Spurs striker Roman Pavlyuchenko (9 goals from 23) and Andrei Arshavin (13 goals from 23). They have been managed by 61 year old Guus Hiddink since 2006; his international managerial experience also includes Austria, South Korea and the Netherlands. At club level he has managed PSV Eindhoven, Real Betis and Real Madrid to name but a few. This will be the first qualifying match for Russia as they and Finland have yet to play.
Wales will be slightly disappointed with the performance against Azerbaijan last Saturday, although we picked up 3 vital points we failed to create many real goal scoring opportunities and at times we lost possession to easily and sometimes looked suspicious at the back. With Jason Koumas being ruled out of the trip with an ankle injury many Welsh fans would have liked to of seen Arsenals Aaron Ramsey given a chance, however Ramsey has been told by Toshack he and Middlesbrough defender Rhys Williams will join Brian Flynn's Wales Under-21 side of their crucial UEFA European qualifier in Romania. Last Saturday’s Welsh hero Chris Gunter will face his spurs team-mate Roman Pavlyuchenko on Wednesday and he said there'll be 'no pals act' when the pair clash in Russia.
Wales will still be without Danny Gabbidon, James Collins and Lewin Nyatanga in defence plus Craig Bellamy, Freddy Eastwood and Jason Koumas. Also Paul Parry has stunned Wales two days before a vital World Cup qualifier by retiring from international football. According to BBC Wales the Cardiff City attacker was unhappy at being left on the bench during the 1-0 win over Azerbaijan on Saturday.
I predict 2-1 to Russia ........
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