Date: November 16, 2018
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium
by Ethan Harris
Braithwaite rocket breaks Welsh hearts
DESPITE a late goal from Gareth Bale, Wales could not seal a promotion place in the UEFA Nations League thanks to a Danish double from Martin Braithwaite and Nicolai Jorgenson.
Keen to build on an electric atmosphere, the Welsh looked to their talisman for a way through early on.
Winning the ball in a dangerous area, Gareth Bale attempted to curl an effort into the top right, but a diving Kasper Schmeichel was well placed to push the shot wide for a corner.
Despite a poor initial cross, the ball stayed in the final third, lingering out wide for Aaron Ramsey and David Brooks to create with some quick interplay.
With an expertly placed ball, James Chester leapt forward, with his headed effort placing just wide and a cry of agony pierced out from the Welsh crowd.
With a quick-paced tie looking likely, both sides pushed to break the deadlock early and despite some good spells of possession, neither side could create any clear-cut chances.
However, with ten minutes to go in the first period, Wales thought they had the opener.
Some precise passes on the edge of the Danish area allowed Connor Roberts to pick up the ball out wide.
The Swansea man plucked a curling cross towards Bale, but he could only watch as he pushed the ball wide of the mark, but the Welsh were edging ever closer.
However, it was the visitors who found the opener in the 42nd minute.
A quick counter-attack left the Welsh defence wide open, with Yussuf Poulsen knocking a through ball towards Nicolai Jørgenson.
The forward steadied himself, before shifting the ball past Wayne Hennessy and into the back of the net to give his side the lead.
The second period started brightly for the home side, as they pushed for an equaliser spurred on by the noise of the red wall.
David Brooks was involved once more ten minutes after the restart, weaving his way past a multitude of players.
The Bournemouth youngster cut back onto his left foot and curled an attempt back across goal, only for the ball to drop just wide of the post.
With a quiet period to follow, the Danes looked to pounce on the counter attack once more with 15 minutes to go.
Eriksen showed his class with a nifty no look ball through to Yussuf Poulsen, who found himself two-on-one with only Connor Roberts in position.
The Dane couldn’t keep his composure, opting for a snapshot on goal that simply never came down with a relieved Welsh defence caught red-handed.
Eight minutes from time, and Bale nearly delivered a moment of magic. The Welsh talisman stood over a free-kick 25-yards out, with anticipation washing over the crowd.
A perfectly struck shot looked a certain goal, but Schmeichel got a good hand to the ball, pushing it onto the post and out of danger.
With only three minutes to go, Denmark doubled their lead.
A long throw fell towards Martin Braithwaite in the area, the number 11 controlling well with his chest before a snapshot rifled into the top right corner.
But the game was not over yet.
Immediately from the restart, a diagonal ball was not dealt with by the Danish defence and fell through to Gareth Bale.
The Real Madrid man pounced, pushing the ball past Schmeichel and rolling it into an empty net to halve the deficit.
However, it was not to be, with Denmark holding out for their second victory over Wales in the Nations League to take them top of Group 4 in League B.