Saturday, June 6, 2009

youthful exuberance leads Wales to victory

Laden with injuries Wales manager John Toshack was forced to deploy a an extremely young side against Azerbaijan. However in a reaffirming note, Wales etched the promise of tomorrow into stone as they defeated a tough Azerbaijan 1-0.

With Readings Simon Church earning his first international cap, Wales encountered a stubborn host side and within a difficult playing environment John Toshack's side did extremely well keeping emotions in check. To many the match had a sharper tone to this with the Azerbaijan side both highly physical and the beneficiary of a series obvious calls not being called. After a few reasonable chances Wales took the lead three minutes before the break as Azerbaigan 'keeper Farhad Veliyev pushed a cross out but the ball fell to Wolverhampton's David Edwards to scuttled the ball in. Down by one the hosts poured forward keeping Wales under constant pressure but once again it was another Wolves man who came to the rescue, this time 'keeper Wayne Hennessey turning aside a number of chances. Despite the pressure Wales left Baku with the 1-0 victory.

In stressing a team victory John Toshack told BBC Sport Wales after the match:

"I think we are pleased to have got a positive result, particularly under the circumstances.

"In view of the absentees which has been well documented, I think the side did ever so well.

"I don't want to pick out any player, they were all excellent.

"But Simon Church on his full debut gave us everything he had. He ran and worked all night and can be very happy with his display.