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Live Reporting

Philip Marsh, Dafydd Pritchard and Michael Pearlman

All times stated are UK

  1. Reality bites until next time

    FT: Wales 2-1 Italy

    Sorry guys, fun time is over. Time to get back to reality.

    Perhaps more than any other, Wales' qualifying campaign for the 2004 European Championships is one to look back on as a wasted opportunity.

    Wales were top with 12 points from four games before stumbling hugely.

    They lost in Serbia and Montenegro and Italy, were held at home by Finland and lost at home to Serbia and Montenegro in their final qualifier, finishing four points behind Italy, claiming only one point from their final four qualifiers.

    You know what happened next.

    Wales qualified for a play-off, drew Russia and held them to a 0-0 blank in Moscow that set the stage for a showdown in Cardiff four days later.

    However, inspired by Yegor Titov, Wales were beaten 1-0 in Cardiff.

    Titov was the difference maker, his energy carrying his side, even though he had just returned from injury.

    When Titov tested positive for bromantane - a Cold War anti-fatigue drug developed by the military - shortly afterwards, Wales appealed against the result.

    The matter reached the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but Wales lost.

    Manager Mark Hughes left for Blackburn early in the next campaign and pretty soon the likes of Gary Speed, Robbie Savage and Ryan Giggs retired and Wales were forced into a painful re-building process.

    But as a single, one-off victory, this must rank as one of the greatest in Welsh football history.

    Thank you for helping us relive that memorable night in 2002.

    Until next time, stay safe, stay distant and take care.

  2. Tosh called it

    FT: Wales 2-1 Italy

    John Toshack

    Along with the Manic Street Preachers' powerhouse performance of You Stole the Sun from my Heart and A Design For Life, the other notable thing you didn't see pre-match was the pundits' predictions.

    While both Ian Rush and Mark Aizlewood felt a draw would be a good result for Wales, John Toshack was far more forthright,

    He both tipped a Wales win and said it was a requisite result.

    "Italy have problems before this game, we need to strike while the iron is hot," he said.

    "Filippo Inzaghe and Francesco Totti aren't here, anything less than a win would be a little bit disappointing in my opinion.

    "Wales have to go out with no self doubts. When the wind is blowing for you, you have to take advantage of it.

    "If both sides play their best, we will assume they will, I think Wales will win.

    "Wales have the players to do damage to the Italians and Italy are in a shaky situation.

    "I really fancy Wales and anything other than a Wales win, I will be disappointed with.

    "A draw at home is only a good result if you need one point to quality."

    Tosh continued to be explosively good value throughout the campaign with his views of the Wales squad.

    Arguably, that didn't help his cause when he succeeded Mark Hughes as Wales manager.

  3. 'An unbelievable night'

    FT: Wales 2-1 Italy

    John Hartson

    You could see how much John Hartson enjoyed that in his post-match interview.

    And his memories are still vivid, as you could tell when he reminisced about the game on BBC Radio Wales on Friday.

    "It was incredible," Hartson told Radio Wales Sport.

    "It was 72,000 people at the Millennium Stadium, not a spare seat in the house, there were queues outside for tickets and you couldn’t get a ticket for love nor money.

    "I remember my parents being their and my children and it was just an unbelievable night and I’m sure every Welsh player that played that night have got their own memories.

    "I know I have, and it was just a truly magnificent victory over a brilliant team."

  4. A convincing win against the Azzurri

    FT: Wales 2-1 Italy

    Rob Phillips

    BBC Wales Football Correspondent

    What a win!

    Maybe Wales really are ready to put past disappointments behind them.

    Make no mistake this was convincing as Wales put the group favourites to the sword.

    Simon Davies and Craig Bellamy underlined Wales’ authority with splendid goals and big John Hartson gave renowned defenders Nesta and Cannavaro a torrid time.

    A fervent crowd played its part too, cheering Wales home to a fantastic win.

    Wales fans know all too well, disappointment can lie round every corner.

    But with the next two games are home and away to group minnows Azerbaijan – Hughes’ men have stylishly constructed a platform from which tournament qualification could become a reality at long last.

  5. Celebrations all around as Wales claim famous victory

    FT: Wales 2-1 Italy

    Video content

    Video caption: A famous win as Wales beat Italy 2-1 in Cardiff
  6. FULL-TIME - Wales 2-1 Italy

    That's it! They've done it!

    What a result! Wales have just beaten the three time world champions!

    It's an exclamation mark parade!

    An absolutely superb display from Wales.


    Wales 2-1 Italy

    Wales make their first change.

    Craig Bellamy limps off, after taking a knock, to rapturous applause.

    Wolves striker Nathan Blake comes on in his place.

    It's going to eat a little bit of time.

    Wales are so, so close.

  8. 'Referee had an absolute nightmare'

    Wales 2-1 Italy

    Ian Walsh

    Former Wales striker on BBC One Wales

    That's a sending off offence if I ever I saw one.

    The referee has had a nightmare, an absolute nightmare.

    You're talking about advantage - yes it's a terrible challenge but he's got to have vision to see the rest of the game.

    Gilles Veissiere
  9. Will this decision come back to haunt Wales?

    Wales 2-1 Italy

    Video content

    Video caption: Craig Bellamy's effort is disallowed for a foul in the build up

    Wales 2-1 Italy

    Luciano Zauri receives a yellow card.

    Wales, I feel, would rather have had the goal!

    A tense finish awaits.


    Wales 2-1 Italy

    Well, if Wales don't win this, then this moment is going to come back to haunt referee Giles Veissiere.

    Luciano Zauri absolutely smashes into Mark Delaney - that's a yellow card at least - but he manages to keep the ball in play.

    The Italian players all played on, but Alessandro Nesta slipped and Craig Bellamy pinched the ball off him and fired the ball home.

    However, just as Ian Gwynne Hughes screamed "3-1," it became evident the goal would not stand as the foul on Delaney had been given.

    Wales are furious. If the referee plays the advantage as he should, it would be 3-1.

    To add insult to injury, Bellamy is now limping after scoring that.

  12. Post update

    Wales 2-1 Italy

    A half chance for Italy but Danny Gabbidon produces a vital touch to deny Massimo Maccarone even a sniff at goal after Andrea Pirlo's caressed through ball.

  13. Is this Wales or Brazil?

    Wales 2-1 Italy

    Wales just nearly scored a goal that you would never have stopped watching.

    Mark Pembridge started things with a cushioned pass to Craig Bellamy who set off down the right like it was the first minute, such was his burst of speed and he found a beautiful pass for Ryan Giggs who crossed first time, with the ball just evading the on-rushing Simon Davies.

    The crowd sound their appreciation, that was lovely football.

  14. You wouldn't like Gattuso when he's angry...

    Wales 2-1 Italy

    Gattuso substituted

    We wouldn't like to get into an argument with Gennaro Gattuso.

    Look at him - he looks like the henchman from a mafia film.

    It seems Giovanni Trapattoni is braver - or more foolish - than most, substituting Gattuso, who only came on around 25 minutes ago.

    The Milan midfielder is furious and storms down the tunnel without acknowledging Italy's manager.


    Wales 2-1 Italy

    A head scratching substitution from Italy.

    Massimo Marazzina is coming on, but the Chievo striker is replacing sub Genarro Gatusso, who doesn't look injured.

  16. Post update

    Wales 2-1 Italy

    Paul Jones misjudges his punch from Allesandro Del Piero's corner and the ball pinballs around the Wales penalty area until Robbie Savage half clears it.

    Eventually Wales repel the danger. For now. The final whistle suddenly feels like a long way off.