Wales 1-0 Trinidad and Tobago: Ben Woodburn scores injury-time winner

Ben Woodburn

Ben Woodburn’s added-time winner saved Wales’ blushes as they marked the return of international football to Wrexham with an unconvincing friendly win over Trinidad and Tobago.

In preparation for Sunday’s opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia, manager Ryan Giggs rested almost his entire first team as Wales played in the north for the first time since 2008.

The sweeping changes seemed to hinder the unfamiliar looking home side, who could barely muster any serious efforts on goal against opponents ranked 93rd in the world.

Things almost got embarrassing early in the second half, as Trinidad and Tobago’s Aubrey David had a shot cleared off the line by Chris Gunter.

But two minutes into injury-time, Wales debutant Will Vaulks’ floated cross to the back post was chested in from close range by Woodburn.

It was a late reprieve for Wales, for whom very few will have furthered their case for selection for Sunday’s qualifier against Slovakia at Cardiff City Stadium.

And while Giggs may have be frustrated with elements of his team’s display, the late winner means his record now reads as four wins, one draw and five defeats from his 10 matches in charge of Wales.

Ben Davies, Aaron Ramsey, Gareth Bale and Wayne Hennessey

Wales underwhelm in Wrexham

The Racecourse is the oldest existing stadium to stage international football – having hosted Wales’ first home match in March 1877 – and there was some excitement in Wrexham before the team’s return.

But that sense of anticipation was tempered when the teams were announced, with Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale left out of the squad completely and only a handful of players starting who could be considered first-team regulars.

There were a few grumbles among the sell-out crowd and no wonder – north Walian supporters travel in their thousands to watch Wales in Cardiff and abroad, so they will have justifiably expected to see at least a few of the leading stars on show.

As it was, they got behind their fringe and fledging players, who struggled to assert themselves against physically imposing but technically inferior opponents ranked 74 places below them in the world.

With many players playing alongside each other for the first time, Wales were devoid of fluency and pace and unable to trouble Trinidad and Tobago.

There was an improvement after the interval as Ryan Hedges, one of the game’s very few bright sparks, crossed well for George Thomas, who saw his headed goal disallowed for offside.

Then with the clock turning red – and Wales bracing themselves for another unimpressive friendly result after November’s defeat in Albania – Woodburn timed his run at the back post to bundle the ball into the net and prompt roars of relief from the home fans.

Man of the match – Ryan Hedges (Wales)

Ryan Hedges

Four make first Wales starts – the stats

  • Since losing 0-1 to Costa Rica in February 2012, Wales are now unbeaten in their first match of a calendar year in each of the last seven years, winning five whilst drawing the other two.
  • This was Wales’ first match at the Racecourse Ground since a 3-0 victory over Norway in February 2008 under John Toshack. They are now unbeaten in their past five matches in Wrexham (four wins, one draw).
  • This was Ryan Giggs’ second victory on home soil since he took over as Wales boss, in what was his fourth such match in charge, stopping a run of back-to-back defeats.
  • Of players to start the match for both sides, only Trinidad and Tobago’s Levi Garcia maintained a 100% passing accuracy rate, completing each of his 16 passes before being substituted in the 60th minute.
  • Wales quartet George Thomas, Lee Evans, Ryan Hedges and Will Vaulks all made their first starts for their country against Trinidad and Tobago. Vaulks became the 11th debutant for Wales under manager Ryan Giggs.
  • Ben Woodburn’s winner was his second goal for Wales, with both coming in 1-0 victories at home (he also scored in a 1-0 win over Austria in September 2017).

Line-ups

Wales

  • 1WardSubstituted forDaviesat 45'minutes
  • 2Gunter
  • 6WilliamsSubstituted forLawrenceat 61'minutes
  • 4DummettSubstituted forJohnat 61'minutes
  • 3Taylor
  • 7Vaulks
  • 16EvansBooked at 81mins
  • 9RobertsSubstituted forMatondoat 71'minutes
  • 11Thomas
  • 14Hedges
  • 10Woodburn

Substitutes

  • 8Smith
  • 13John
  • 15Lawrence
  • 17Matondo
  • 18Roberts
  • 19Wilson
  • 21Davies

T'dad & Tobago

  • 1Phillip
  • 2David
  • 4Bateau
  • 5Cyrus
  • 18Hodge
  • 8Hyland
  • 19GeorgeBooked at 45mins
  • 23PaulSubstituted forHackshawat 81'minutes
  • 10GarcíaSubstituted forPeltierat 60'minutes
  • 9PlazaSubstituted forCatoat 45'minutes
  • 13Lewis

Substitutes

  • 6Mitchell
  • 7Cato
  • 11Peltier
  • 12Russell
  • 14Humphrey
  • 15Hackshaw
  • 16Jones
  • 17Williams
  • 20Muckette
  • 21Frenderup
  • 22Foncette
Attendance:
10,326

Match Stats

Home TeamWalesAway TeamT'dad & Tobago
Possession
Home67%
Away33%
Shots
Home21
Away2
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home8
Away0
Fouls
Home10
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Wales 1, Trinidad and Tobago 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Wales 1, Trinidad and Tobago 0.

Attempt missed. Ben Woodburn (Wales) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.

George Thomas (Wales) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Daneil Cyrus (Trinidad and Tobago).

Goal!

Goal! Wales 1, Trinidad and Tobago 0. Ben Woodburn (Wales) with an attempt from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Will Vaulks.

Attempt blocked. Ryan Hedges (Wales) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Jamie Lawrence (Wales) because of an injury.

Delay in match Lester Peltier (Trinidad and Tobago) because of an injury.

Jamie Lawrence (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lester Peltier (Trinidad and Tobago).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Tristan Hodge (Trinidad and Tobago) because of an injury.

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Nathan Lewis.

Offside, Trinidad and Tobago. Khaleem Hyland tries a through ball, but Sheldon Bateau is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Trinidad and Tobago. Neveal Hackshaw replaces Leston Paul because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Booking

Lee Evans (Wales) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Delay in match Lee Evans (Wales) because of an injury.

Delay in match Leston Paul (Trinidad and Tobago) because of an injury.

Foul by Lee Evans (Wales).

Leston Paul (Trinidad and Tobago) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match George Thomas (Wales) because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Lee Evans (Wales) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jamie Lawrence.

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

Foul by Khaleem Hyland (Trinidad and Tobago).

Attempt missed. Ben Woodburn (Wales) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ryan Hedges with a cross.

Attempt missed. Will Vaulks (Wales) header from outside the box is too high following a corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Wales. Rabbi Matondo replaces Tyler Roberts.

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Sheldon Bateau.

Offside, Trinidad and Tobago. Sheldon Bateau tries a through ball, but Nathan Lewis is caught offside.

Foul by Ryan Hedges (Wales).

Aubrey David (Trinidad and Tobago) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lee Evans (Wales).

Khaleem Hyland (Trinidad and Tobago) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Wales. Ryan Hedges tries a through ball, but George Thomas is caught offside.

Hand ball by Lester Peltier (Trinidad and Tobago).

Will Vaulks (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

BBC Sport – Sport