Tuesday 25 June 2019

Bale 'unlikely' to make Dublin clash

Wales 1 Spain 4

Wales' Ethan Ampadu (left) and Spain's Dani Ceballos battle for the ball. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Wales' Ethan Ampadu (left) and Spain's Dani Ceballos battle for the ball. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Against the most testing opponent of the Ryan Giggs regime, Wales were subjected to a gruelling examination that provided few reasons for optimism.

Giggs would have known that Spain are a world-class side, even when they field a second-string team in friendlies like this, but he would surely not have expected his players to be humbled as comprehensively as they were.

Wales' Harry Wilson (right) reacts to a challenge from Spain's Jose Luis Gaya. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Wales' Harry Wilson (right) reacts to a challenge from Spain's Jose Luis Gaya. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

In their first match at the Principality Stadium since 2011, Wales found themselves trailing by three goals before half an hour had passed. Without the injured Gareth Bale to worry about, it was Spain who looked more at home under the roof in Cardiff.

A major improvement will be needed for next week's trip to Dublin, where Wales meet the Republic of Ireland in the Nations League. It is clear that Bale will be needed, too. But the presence of the Real Madrid forward, who received an award for becoming his country's top goalscorer, is "unlikely at this point," according to Giggs afterwards.

Dismal Welsh defending allowed Paco Alcacer to score two well-taken first-half goals either side of a header from Sergio Ramos. For the third goal, Harry Wilson and Joe Allen contrived to tackle each other, and Alcacer slammed home the loose ball.

It was only now, with their tails between legs, that Wales began to compete. It was far too late. The gap widened further on 74 minutes when Marc Bartra headed in a fourth, but Sam Vokes provided something for home fans to cheer by bundling home a late header.

Wales' Harry Wilson (left) and Spain's Sergio Ramos battle for the ball. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Wales' Harry Wilson (left) and Spain's Sergio Ramos battle for the ball. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Irish Independent

The Throw-In: Why Kerry are not top contenders to challenge Dublin in All-Ireland race

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport