A lot-changed Wales impress in defeat by Poland


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Karol Swiderski celebrates
Karol Swiderski celebrates scoring the match winner

A much-changed Wales facet ready for Sunday’s World Cup play-off remaining with a commendable show in defeat in opposition to Poland within the Nations League.

With first-choice gamers reminiscent of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey rested in Wroclaw, Wales’ second string utilized themselves effectively in a goalless first half in opposition to a full-strength residence facet.

Piotr Zielinski and Robert Lewandowski missed probabilities for Poland, whereas the harmful Daniel James got here closest to scoring for Wales.

Jonny Williams gave the guests an surprising lead with an outstanding low strike early within the second half, earlier than Jakub Kaminski equalised with a nice end and fellow substitute Karol Swiderski bundled in a late successful purpose from shut vary.

Whatever the consequence, Wales’ chief concern for this fixture was maintaining the squad intact for a larger purpose on Sunday, and so they completed that concentrate on.

Wales can now concentrate on the principle occasion, a World Cup play-off remaining in opposition to Scotland or Ukraine which supervisor Robert Web page has described because the “largest match in Welsh historical past”.

Wales’ second string impress

Though this was Wales’ first style of the highest flight within the Nations League, there was no doubting their priorities lay elsewhere.

The stakes might scarcely be increased for Wales after they host Scotland or Ukraine within the one-off tie, hoping to finish their 64-year absence from soccer’s showpiece match.

Because of this, Web page rested the overwhelming majority of his first-team gamers in Poland, with Bale, Ramsey, Joe Allen and Ben Davies omitted of the squad solely.

The choice represented its personal dangers in opposition to seasoned opposition who had already certified for the World Cup and had been led by file scorer Lewandowski – however Web page had little selection with the scale of the prize on provide on Sunday.

His fringe gamers stepped as much as the problem admirably, maintaining possession with management and troubling Poland on the break.

The hosts created the higher probabilities within the first half, squandering the perfect within the fourth minute because the unmarked Zielinski headed extensive from Mateusz Klich’s cross.

Lewandowski then bought his first sight on purpose, bursting clear on the left earlier than slicing inside and forcing Danny Ward into an excellent low save.

Wales posed a menace too, most frequently via the tempo and direct operating of the irrepressible James.

Poland struggled to include the Leeds United winger, who created alternatives for team-mates and missed one among his personal as he shot extensive from a promising place.

His half-time alternative Rabbi Matondo continued in the identical vein, stretching the Polish defence early within the second half to arrange Williams, who fired in from 20 yards.

The purpose sparked Poland into life and so they scored a deserved equaliser when Kaminski was given an excessive amount of time and house contained in the Wales penalty space to shift the ball on to his proper foot and end into the far nook.

Then with 5 minutes left, Lewandowski’s shot took a giant deflection, Wales did not clear and Swiderski scored on the rebound to finish Poland’s comeback.

Robert Lewandowski
Poland captain Robert Lewandowski completed second behind Lionel Messi in final 12 months’s Ballon d’Or

Job finished for Web page

Web page will have already got a transparent thought of the staff he’ll choose for the World Cup play-off and, whereas this sport is unlikely to have modified his thoughts, the Wales supervisor could have been impressed by numerous performances.

Ipswich City’s Wes Burns checked out residence on his debut at left wing-back, midfielder Dylan Levitt produced arguably his best show but in a Wales shirt and a new-look again three of Chris Gunter, Chris Mepham and Rhys Norrington-Davies coped admirably in opposition to high quality opposition.

The electrical James was substituted at half-time together with striker Kieffer Moore and goalkeeper Ward, with all three anticipated to play some half on Sunday.

Managing gamers’ minutes and maintaining his key males match for the weekend was Web page’s intention in Wroclaw. To have the ability to achieve this whereas claiming a notable victory would have represented a job finished to perfection.

Win, draw or lose, this sport wouldn’t have had a bearing on Wales’ place in historical past. Triumph in Sunday’s date with future, and it’ll have all been value it.



Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 1Grabara
  • 18BereszynskiBooked at 61mins
  • 15Glik
  • 5Bednarek
  • 19PuchaczSubstituted forZalewskiat 73′minutes
  • 14KlichSubstituted forZurkowskiat 60′minutes
  • 10KrychowiakSubstituted forGrosickiat 81′minutes
  • 6GóralskiSubstituted forKaminskiat 60′minutes
  • 20Zielinski
  • 9Lewandowski
  • 7BuksaSubstituted forSwiderskiat 73′minutes


  • 2Kaminski
  • 3Wieteska
  • 4Kedziora
  • 8Zurkowski
  • 11Grosicki
  • 12Skorupski
  • 13Pestka
  • 16Swiderski
  • 17Szymanski
  • 21Zalewski
  • 22Dragowski
  • 23Piatek


Formation 3-5-2

  • 12WardSubstituted forHennesseyat 45′minutes
  • 2Gunter
  • 5Mepham
  • 17Norrington-DaviesBooked at 75mins
  • 7Smith
  • 22Levitt
  • 16MorrellBooked at 29mins
  • 18WilliamsSubstituted forThomasat 77′minutes
  • 9BurnsSubstituted forN Williamsat 62′minutes
  • 13MooreSubstituted forM Harrisat 45′minutes
  • 20JamesSubstituted forMatondoat 45′minutes


  • 1Hennessey
  • 3N Williams
  • 4Denham
  • 6Rodon
  • 8Wilson
  • 10Thomas
  • 11Matondo
  • 14Roberts
  • 15Ampadu
  • 19M Harris
  • 21Davies

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