International Friendlies
Mexico0Wales0

Mexico 0-0 Wales

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Highlights: Mexico 0-0 Wales

A youthful Wales side held Mexico to a creditable goalless draw in Pasadena.

Wales lost captain Ashley Williams to injury in a first half in which keeper Wayne Hennessey kept Mexico at bay.

Ryan Giggs' side had to withstand heavy second-half pressure in front of a fervent, almost entirely Mexican crowd of 82,345 at the Rose Bowl.

But Wales manager Giggs continued to introduce young players into the fray and they rewarded his faith with a stoic defensive display.

Giggs gives youth a chance

Wayne Hennessey makes a save
Wayne Hennessey made several key saves on his 76th appearance for Wales, which puts him clear of Dean Saunders in seventh in their all-time list

Short of several first-team players such as Gareth Bale, Joe Allen and James Chester, Wales travelled to California with a relatively youthful and experimental squad.

Despite those withdrawals, Giggs was still able to select a strong starting line-up in Pasadena, while Chester's absence meant defender Chris Mepham earned a first international start.

However, the Brentford player lost his more senior centre-back partner Williams after just 20 minutes, the Wales skipper leaving the field in agony after injuring his rib.

These were not the circumstances in which Giggs wanted to test the depth of his squad, but the silver lining to Williams' departure was that it handed a fourth cap to his replacement, Bristol Rovers' Tom Lockyer.

That change did not seem to disrupt Wales, who were organised, competitive and provided danger on the break in the form of young Liverpool winger Harry Wilson - but Mexico certainly had the better chances.

Sensing their growing threat and eager to give more experience to his fringe players, Giggs introduced youngsters Connor Roberts, Declan John and David Brooks at half-time and regularly tweaked his formation in what seemed to be a ploy to keep Mexico guessing with their tactical fluidity.

Although Mexico's dominance increased as the second half wore on, Giggs persevered with his commitment to youth as 21-year-old Leicester forward George Thomas and Manchester City's 18-year-old midfielder Matt Smith came on for their debuts.

This was in keeping with the manager's first two matches in charge in the China Cup friendly tournament in March - and the end of his predecessor Chris Coleman's reign.

In fact, the second-half introductions of Thomas and Smith meant Wales have given debuts to 11 players in their last five matches, as Giggs looks to expand the pool of Welsh talent at his disposal as he builds for the future.

Mexico's World Cup party spoiled

Ashley Williams on the floor in agony
Everton defender Ashley Williams was playing his first match in almost three months

While Wales had spent the past few months banishing the lingering disappointment of having failed to qualify for the World Cup, Mexico were using this game to prepare for a seventh successive appearance in the competition.

Their previous six campaigns had all ended at the last-16 stage but, with hopes of breaking through that ceiling in Russia this year, there was a sense of expectation among the throngs of Mexican supporters at the imposing Rose Bowl, the venue of the 1994 World Cup final.

In what was essentially a home match for this enormously populous and passionate - but somewhat underachieving - footballing nation and there was a carnival atmosphere as thousands of fans gathered for their tailgate parties outside the ground before kick-off.

Inside, the celebratory mood soon became one of frustration as the likes of Hector Herrera and Javier Aquino were thwarted by Hennessey.

Despite a flurry of late set-pieces, Mexico were unable to find a way past an obdurate Welsh defence and, when the final whistle blew, there were even a few jeers from the noisy El Tri faithful after watching what they deemed to be an underwhelming performance.

Man of the match - Wayne Hennessey

Action shot of Wayne Hennessey making a save as Wales scramble the ball clear
Chris Mepham and Tom Lockyer stepped up in central defence after Ashley Williams’ departure but, if it was not for Hennessey’s saves in the Welsh goal, Mexico would have won this comfortably.

Line-ups

Mexico

  • 1J Corona
  • 24Álvarez
  • 4Ayala
  • 2AlanísSubstituted forSalcedoat 45'minutes
  • 23Gallardo
  • 16HerreraSubstituted forJ dos Santosat 61'minutes
  • 21MolinaSubstituted forDammat 45'minutes
  • 25GutiérrezBooked at 71minsSubstituted forFabiánat 74'minutes
  • 17JM CoronaSubstituted forG dos Santosat 69'minutes
  • 14HernándezSubstituted forPeraltaat 59'minutes
  • 20Aquino

Substitutes

  • 3Salcedo
  • 6J dos Santos
  • 8Fabián
  • 9Jiménez
  • 10G dos Santos
  • 11Vela
  • 13Ochoa
  • 19Peralta
  • 22Lozano
  • 26Damm

Wales

  • 1Hennessey
  • 2GunterSubstituted forRobertsat 45'minutes
  • 6WilliamsSubstituted forLockyerat 21'minutes
  • 5Mepham
  • 4Davies
  • 8King
  • 16LedleySubstituted forJohnat 45'minutes
  • 7WilsonSubstituted forThomasat 64'minutes
  • 10RamseyBooked at 66mins
  • 11LawrenceSubstituted forSmithat 81'minutes
  • 9VokesSubstituted forBrooksat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Richards
  • 12Maxwell
  • 13John
  • 14Evans
  • 15Lockyer
  • 17Hedges
  • 18Brooks
  • 19Roberts
  • 20Smith
  • 21Davies
  • 22Bradshaw
  • 23Thomas
Referee:
Armando Villarreal
Attendance:
82,345

Match Stats

Home TeamMexicoAway TeamWales
Possession
Home69%
Away31%
Shots
Home22
Away3
Shots on Target
Home9
Away1
Corners
Home12
Away2
Fouls
Home9
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Mexico 0, Wales 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Mexico 0, Wales 0.

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Matt Smith.

Attempt blocked. Jonathan dos Santos (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Marco Fabián (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Oribe Peralta.

Javier Aquino (Mexico) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Connor Roberts (Wales).

Attempt missed. Jonathan dos Santos (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Javier Aquino.

Attempt saved. Giovani dos Santos (Mexico) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marco Fabián with a through ball.

Substitution

Substitution, Wales. Matt Smith replaces Tom Lawrence.

Oribe Peralta (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Tom Lockyer (Wales).

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Connor Roberts.

Attempt saved. Jürgen Damm (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt blocked. Carlos Salcedo (Mexico) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marco Fabián with a cross.

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Aaron Ramsey.

Attempt blocked. Marco Fabián (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Javier Aquino.

Substitution

Substitution, Mexico. Marco Fabián replaces Erick Gutiérrez.

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Connor Roberts.

Erick Gutiérrez (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Tom Lawrence (Wales).

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Edson Álvarez.

Booking

Erick Gutiérrez (Mexico) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Erick Gutiérrez (Mexico).

George Thomas (Wales) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Mexico. Giovani dos Santos replaces Jesús Manuel Corona.

Booking

Aaron Ramsey (Wales) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Edson Álvarez (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Aaron Ramsey (Wales).

Substitution

Substitution, Wales. George Thomas replaces Harry Wilson.

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Chris Mepham.

Attempt blocked. Oribe Peralta (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Edson Álvarez.

Attempt missed. Oribe Peralta (Mexico) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jonathan dos Santos with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Mexico. Jonathan dos Santos replaces Héctor Herrera.

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Wayne Hennessey.

Attempt saved. Héctor Herrera (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Mexico. Oribe Peralta replaces Chicharito.

Chicharito (Mexico) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Tom Lawrence (Wales).

Javier Aquino (Mexico) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal