A young Wales side succumbed to an experienced Poland outfit last night, although there were plenty of positives for John Toshack to take from this friendly before their vital World Cup qualifiers next month. Indeed, they were unlucky to lose by the odd goal in this friendly, played in Vila Real de Santo Antonio in Portugal, although at least they could console themselves that it was a goal of pure quality which finished them off.
After the game Craig Bellamy was the target of abuse from a supporter. The Manchester City striker engaged in a finger-pointing response, and shouted back before being led away. Bellamy said: "I don't want to make any fuss about it. It always seems to be me, though. I have shown my commitment to Wales by turning up for these sorts of games, but it is me that always seems to get picked on for stick. I'm passionate about my country, maybe too passionate at times."
Bellamy had shaken off a swollen knee to start and was the game's stand-out performer until Toshack stuck to his word and withdrew him after half-time.
The crowd comprised 487 hardy souls from both countries, for a match that was a warm-up for World Cup fixtures next month.
Wales, lacking a string of Premier League players, should have gone in with the lead after missing a string of chances as the youngsters quickly found their stride. Joe Ledley came closest in the 33rd minute. Bellamy's free-kick curled into the box and the much-vaunted Cardiff midfielder produced a clever chip which cleared the Arsenal goalkeeper Lukask Fabianski before bouncing on to the bar. Soon after David Edwards saw a header cleared off the line and Bellamy grazed a post after being put clear.
Both managers made substitutions at the interval, with Bellamy making way for Sam Vokes and Aaron Ramsey coming on in midfield. The Poles introduced the Celtic goalkeeper, Artur Boruc, although the most notable replacement was to prove Roger Guerreiro. By the time the Brazilian-born playmaker delivered his sumptuous lob over Boaz Myhill, on for Hennessey, in the 80th minute, Poland had taken control.
Wales (4-4-2): Hennessey (Wolves); Gunter (Tottenham), Ashley Williams (Swansea), Nyatanga (Derby), Ricketts (Hull); Edwards (Wolves), Collison (West Ham), Ledley (Cardiff), Bale (Tottenham); Evans (Manchester City), Bellamy (Manchester City). Substitutes used: Myhill (Hull) for Hennessey, h-t; Fletcher (Crystal Palace) for Collison, h-t; Ramsey (Arsenal) for Ledley, h-t; Vokes (Wolves) for Evans, h-t; Cotterill (Sheffield Utd) for Bellamy, h-t.
Poland: Fabianski (Boruc, h-t), Wawrzyniak, Zewlakow, Wasilewski, Krzynowek ( Lobodzinski, h-t), Boguski (Smolarek, h-t), Murawski ( Tralka, 74), Gargula (Guerreiro, h-t), Mariusz Lewandowski, Dudka, Robert Lewandowski (Brozek, 62). Substitutes not used: Wojtkowiak, Pawlowski, Kokoszka.
Referee: B M D Paixao (Port).Reuse content