Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I suppose I could have have said it differently but simply stated amongst the wins and losses, the teams who have succeeded and those that have fallen short so far, John Toshack has taught pride and cemented a squad that will never surrender.

The byline could have read how Wales lost 1-0 to Germany in Mönchengladbach on a powerful strike by Hamburg’s Piotr Trochowski with eighteen minutes left in the match, however the real story was Wales remarkable resolve in holding Germany at bay. I am reluctant to note who was Wales “man of the match” but without question special note must be made of West Ham’s James Collins and Wolverhampton’s extraordinary twenty-one year-old ‘keeper Wayne Hennessey

James Collins performance was nothing short of stunning as coming off a long injury and pressed into international duty, he effectively stymied Die Mannschaft skipper Michael Ballack. Clearly John Toshack approached the match with a “defense-first” and managed it tactically perfectly before the break. After the break the match opened up slightly with a few respectable scoring chances but they were mostly from poor sight lines or highly improbable angles. Roughly ten minutes after the break, Wales had its best chance to open the scoring as Craig Bellamy broke free and struck a powerful shot that German ‘keeper René Adler made a stunning save.

With the match looking like it was heading for a scoreless draw, Piotr Trochowski struck a brilliant curling shot to the opposite corner from twenty-five meters out. Wales pressed heavily to level the match and with only a few minutes remaining a close-range Chris Gunter drive was blocked and the match ended with Germany winning 1-0.