Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Wales 0-2 Bosnia

Bosnia arrived at an almost empty Parc Y Scarlets in terrible nick. No wins from their last five games made Wales the slight favourites. The form of the visitors is slightly misleading, they have a squad littered with players from across Europe’s big leagues and spearheaded by Man City forward Edin Dzeko.

Wales, wearing their new strip of red with a yellow stripe, rested Craig Bellamy and Steve Morison. Simon Church and Sam Vokes were the replacements. Boaz Myhill started in goals due to the injury of number one, Wayne Hennessey. The back four consisted of Chris Gunter, Darcey Blake, Ashley Williams and Neil Taylor. The midfield was Andrew Crofts, Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey. Gareth Bale joined Church and Vokes to form a front three.

The home side started brightly, a great run from Bale found Allen with a beautifully timed reverse pass on the edge of the box. Allen drilled across the goal but with Ramsey and Vokes waiting for the centre, a Bosnian with a funny name put it behind for a corner.

Ramsey swung in the resulting set piece and it found the head of Blake, it was half cleared as far as Liverpool new boy Allen who hit into the ground and forced Bosnian Keeper Begovic to parry onto the bar. Bale kept the ball alive by putting it back across the box, which could have gone anywhere. Unfortunately for Wales it was cleared and Bosnia countered to no avail.

Wales, just like their time under Gary Speed, were beginning to look suspect defending set pieces. Allen was dispossessed in the middle of the park and the shot resulted in another Bosnia corner which was swung in and met by the head of talisman Dzeko inside the six yard box. Somehow Dzeko could only hit the bar with his free header, much to the amusement of both fans behind Myhill’s goal.

Bosnia were starting to look dangerous and Wales were starved of possession, Bale and Church were changing flanks quicker and more frequently than Wales change international venues. I’m pretty sure Simon Church was just happy to be there. I’m from Llanelli and I don't like going there!

The visitors finally broke the deadlock on 25 minutes. A long ball down Wales’ left had seemed to be telegraphed by Team GB left back Taylor. The Swansea full back, caught in a mucking fuddle, failed to put the ball into the town centre or trap the bloody thing, resulting in Stevanavic getting around him and middling for Ibisevic to tap home.

It could have been 2-0 five minutes later. Ramsey, who spent most of the first half falling over and appealing for cheap free kicks, again turned into trouble on the edge of his box- a cardinal sin in any level of football and Ibisevic danced through the back four only to put his shot wide of Myhill’s left post. Not that Myhill moved!

The final 10 minutes of the half saw Wales get back into it. Allen was again the provider, playing Vokes through only for the Burnley man to be flagged offside. Wales gaffer Chris Coleman jumped up in amazement, probably realising that he had picked Vokes.

Wales had the final chance of the half when Taylor hung up a cross to the far post after good work from Allen. Gareth Bale leaped like a salmon at the back stick and forced a more than useful save from Begovic.

Half Time: Wales 0-1 Bosnia

The second half saw Bosnia come out the quickest. Edin Dzeko again look a class above everybody else. Ramsey fed Church through the middle but again the wide man was not quick enough to react. The man seems like he’s on a different planet.

Wales were starting to look even more dodgy at set pieces and again a corner was put in to the front post. A flick from a Bosnian front man across goal was this time ushered away but you could almost tell a second was about to come…

A second did come on 53 minutes but not from a dreaded corner! A Chris Gunter header into the ground on the half way line found Dzeko who swept the ball out to the right hand side. Stevanavic had 20 yards to run towards goal unopposed and rattled one past Myhill from just inside the box. 2-0 down and a man down- Gareth Bale looking like he wants to play for Spurs on the weekend. Wales were simply not getting out of their half.

Five minutes later and Bale makes a run from the half way line and showed everyone a clean pair of heels. The cross was almost too good for Vokes and the ball was cleared.

On the hour mark Wales made two substitutions- enter Bellamy and Robson-Kanu for Gareth Bale and Simon Church, who I wish doesn’t play again for a while. The next 10 minutes saw Wales get back into it and Bellamy at the forefront. The Cardiff City winger looking exciting and tricky and looked like he had been playing with Ramsey all summer, the two combined on numerous occasions but again Vokes struggled as the target man.

With 20 minutes to go more replacements arrived. Vokes was replaced by Steve Morison and Sam Ricketts came on for Chris Gunter. Both men who were replaced could have done more for me but don’t you just hate all these substitutions in friendlies?

On 71mins Craig Bellamy delivered a great ball in from a free kick from deep, which he had won himself, how nobody got on the end of it is remarkable. Bellamy was really starting to looking world class.

On 80 minutes Wales won a corner and Bellamy again delivered with aplomb. Steve Morison this time guilty of not getting a good connection and headed wide from six yards. Some good news for Wales fans however as young Lynch is on to make his debut for Darcey Blake. Rob Earnshaw made the subs complete coming on for Crofts on 88mins.

Final score: Wales 0-2 Bosnia

It was strange to Joe Allen play a full 90 minutes. Brendon Rodgers will be not be too amusing after trying to get his new signing to pull out of the squad after his busy summer with Team GB. Bellamy was my man of the match. He was the only one who gave Wales any impotence going forward.

Ramsey got better as the game went on and Allen looked almost worth his 15 million price tag. Darcey Blake got the run around by Dzeko but what can be expected?

Chris Coleman certainly has his work cut out ahead of the first World Cup qualifier versus Belguim…

No comments:

Post a Comment