Get the Party Started: Wales vs AndorraPosted: October 14, 2015
Wales had already qualified, but the nature of qualification was a tad disappointing. Other results meant that Wales progressed despite a 2-0 defeat to Bosnia-Herzegovina at the weekend. It also brought Wales’ undefeated streak to an end, after 8 matches.
While it would be easy to get down about this fact, remembering a time when Wales struggled more than a handful of points makes it easier. We mustn’t get greedy, and just appreciate the achievements of Chris Coleman’s squad.
To get back on track Wales had to beat Andorra, not a big ask against a nation which only have 3 victories in almost twenty years.
In front of a sell out crowd who were ready for the party to start, Wales took to the field and dominated from the off. With crisp passing the Welshmen created several chances but the Andorran defence dug in and frustrated their attempts, and the first half ended goalless.
The Andorran defence would have been admirable, but as the game went on there was less to admire as they became increasingly cynical. The Andorrans began flying in with wild challenges and wasted time at any opportunity. The worst offender was Ildefons Lima, who hacked down Gareth Bale and proceeded to gripe to the referee after every decision.
Wales had squandered their chances, snatching at chances they sent wide or else sent harmlessly to the keeper. While they built impressively and moved forward with purpose their finishing was lacklustre. In fact the closest to a first half goal came from a disastrous defensive header which Andorran keeper Ferran Pol only just managed to stop.
Finally the deadlock was broken when Ashley Williams headed goalwards only for the keeper to spill it and Aaron Ramsey to find the net from the rebound.
Wales should have added more, but their attacking was scrappy. Gareth Bale went wide with a free kick and had another fly straight to the keeper. Ramsey showed a selfish streak as at times he attempted to go alone where a pass might have been wiser.
The chances continued to come and go before Gareth Bale, the Welsh star added a second, five minutes from the end. It wasn’t a classic but Bale took it well, firing home from a cross and making the scoreline look a lot better.
After the final whistle the celebrations got underway as Wales look forward to their first major tournament since 1958. The joy was clear, and the patchy performance in front of goal will be forgotten, the result being the major thing.
The only thing souring the party vibe and unity of the team was the fact that some of the Cardiff fans in attendance chose to boo whenever Ashley Williams got the ball. It was a nastiness that was needless, especially given the sterling work that Williams has put in as captain. I understand the Cardiff-Swansea rivalry is a passionate one, but there comes a time when it needs to be set aside, and when player pulls on your national colours it feels wrong to boo them, particularly when they’ve done nothing wrong.
This minority, however, were outnumbered by the genuine Welsh fans who’s chanting, singing support has played a part in helping galvanise this squad to succeed where many have struggled before. Chris Coleman has built a strong side that has clicked, and regardless of how Wales do in France I hope he continues as manager for some time.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.