Report: Wales 1-0 Trinidad and Tobago

Racecourse, Wrexham. Image Tom Pritchard

by Tom Pritchard

BEN Woodburn scored a stoppage time winner to give Wales victory against Trinidad and Tobago on their return to Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground.

Ryan Giggs’ side were playing their first game in north Wales since 2008, when they beat Norway 3-0.

Giggs had named an experimental line-up, with star players, including Gareth Bale, not in the squad as one eye was cast towards Sunday’s crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia.

The hosts saw the majority of the ball, but found it hard to break down an organised Trinidad and Tobago defence.

However, Woodburn popped up with a just minutes left to give the sell-out crowd something to celebrate, on what had been a mostly frustrating night.

Ryan Hedges, making just his fourth appearance for Wales, was impressive on the night and provided an early cross to Tyler Roberts, whose header was saved by Marvin Phillip.

Despite controlling possession throughout, Wales were often guilty of misplacing key passes, which stunted any attacks they tried to build.

Dennis Lawrence’s side offered very little in attack, registering just two shots on goal, the first of which came when Khaleem Hyland fired an effort straight at Danny Ward – who was replaced at half-time by Adam Davies.

In a first half which saw Wales struggle to create clear cut chances, they found attacks down the left side fruitful with the industrious Hedges finding space and delivering balls into the area.

The Barnsley forward turned from provider to receiver when Lee Evans’ squared pass picked him out just inside the area, however his shot flew well over the crossbar.

Youngster George Thomas, who is on loan at Scunthorpe from Leicester, unleashed an effort destined for the top left corner 10 minutes after half time, Phillip was equal to it and pushed the ball over the bar.

Wales were given a wake up call moments later as Levi Garcia found himself free inside the penalty area, before passing to full-back Aubrey David whose powerful effort was cleared off the line by Chris Gunter – who was playing his 94th game in the red of Wales.

Wales ramped up the pressure from the hour mark onwards, without finding that extra bit of quality that was going to trouble the visitors – who are ranked 94th in the world.

However, with the game approaching its conclusion, Woodburn, as he did against Austria in the previous World Cup Qualifying campaign, popped up with the vital goal.

Rotherham’s Will Vaulks, who was impressive on debut, showed determination to win a second ball and clip it back across goal, and the Liverpool youngster was on hand at the back post to bundle the ball in and spark wild celebrations behind the goal.

For Wales, this was a good workout ahead of what will be a tough test in Cardiff.

Giggs will know that his team will need to improve if they’re to secure a positive result against Slovakia on Sunday, and with numerous senior players returning he has reason to be hopeful.