Wales 1 Finland 1 match report: 'Gareth Bale has become a target,' says Chris Coleman
Wales' manager concedes that the 24-year-old must deal with being the main man for the opposition to stop
the millennium stadium
Sunday 17 November 2013
Gareth Bale has been warned to expect rough-house treatment in the future for Wales and Real Madrid. The £86 million forward was left battered and bruised by Finland in what was billed as a friendly in Cardiff.
Twice in the opening five minutes of the 1-1 draw, Jere Uronen fouled the former Tottenham attacker. First the man-marker trod on his toe before clattering into Bale to leave the world's most expensive player lying on the floor in agony.
Wales' manager Chris Coleman, who signed a new contract last week, concedes that the 24-year-old must deal with being the main target for the opposition to stop, no matter how they do so.
Coleman said: "Gareth is going to get kicked, pushed and bullied, but we have to get used to that. He knows even before he goes on the pitch that there will be a time where someone is going to want to leave some on him. But he's got to take that as a painful compliment."
Andy King handed Wales a 58th-minute lead with a close-range header before Finland's Riku Riski equalised in the second minute of injury time.
Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey pulled out on the eve of the game through illness. "Aaron arrived with flu," Coleman revealed. "He was ill last week before the Manchester United game, as were a lot of the Arsenal lads. He didn't improve and could not finish the training session on Friday. The way he's been playing, he'd be a miss for any team."
Wales (4-3-3) Hennessey; Gunter (Richards 72), Williams, Ricketts, Taylor (Davies 72); Allen, Ledley, King; Bale, Church (Vokes 62), Robson-Kanu (Cotterill 84).
Finland (4-5-1) Hradecky; Arkivuo (Lampi 45, Raitala 70), Moisander (Pasanen 62), Ojala (Toivio 45), Uronen; Riski, Schuller (Hetemaj 70), Sparv, Ring, Eremenko; Pukki (Hamalainen 62). Referee: Sébastien Delferiere (Belgium).
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