Friday, May 29, 2009

Wales defeats Estonia 1-0

Without the services of skipper Craig Bellamy, James Collins, Jason Koumas and Simon Davies a youthful Wales side did well in a friendly Friday evening defeating Estonia 1-0 in Llanelli.

Quite obviously with chances of qualifying for the World Cup cast aside it is time for John Toshack to lay the foundation for the future. As the score would suggest finishing was below par but in-truth much of the match this was more of a "under" side getting its feet wet before next weeks visit of Azerbaijan. That said, Wales did create the majority of scoring chances and just need to find their "shooting boots" as early efforts by Nottingham Forest's Robert Earnshaw and Tottenham's Chris Gunter were dreadful. More dreadful than the finish was a horrendous handball call on Estonia's Alo Bärengrub with the spot being pointed to five minutes shy of the half hour. This time Robert Earnshaw as he plunked the ball to the back of the net giving Wales the 1-0 lead. Efforts came and went and as the score suggests, neither side was able to find the needed touch as the match concluded without further incident.

Following the match, John Toshack noted his satisfaction with the performance:

"We needed this run-out ahead of the World Cup game, it was important."

Of the upcoming Azerbaijan he echoed the learning curve of his young side:

"It will be interesting to see how they cope because it will be a hostile place and very hot.

"I have never fielded such a young side as that, certainly not at club level. I would have gone out and bought half a dozen players by now.

"We will find a match that will be a good character builder for them all."