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Wales 1-0 Trinidad and Tobago: Liverpool youngster, Ben Woodburn earns Giggs’ side victory



LIVERPOOL youngster, Ben Woodburn’s injury time effort earned Wales a slender victory in their friendly clash with Trinidad and Tobago on their return to Wrexham’s Racecourse ground.
More than 10,000 fans packed out the North Wales venue, but there was very little to inspire the Red Wall ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifier with Slovakia at Cardiff City Stadium until Woodburn bundled home at the death.
George Thomas, Tyler Roberts and Woodburn were among those to have decent openings for the home side during a low key encounter.
Although the clearest chance of the game fell to Trinidad and Tobago’s Aubrey David who had a shot cleared off the line by Chris Gunter.
The hosts will look completely different at the weekend, and with likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey to return, they will be aiming to serve up a far better performance in the Welsh capital on Sunday.
A much changed side from the friendly loss to Albania in November saw the likes of Neil Taylor, Lee Evans and Ryan Hedges drafted in, with only Danny Ward and Gunter retaining their places in the starting XI from that defeat in Elbasan.
And Rotherham man, Will Vaulks was handed a first ever Wales cap by Giggs.
But there was no place for talisman Bale as he was rested ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Slovakia in Cardiff.
Wales – 74 places above Dennis Lawrence’s side in the FIFA rankings – started the brighter of the two teams, with Roberts heading into the arms of Marvin Phillip from a Hedges cross early on.
But the visitors soon settled and proved a tough nut to crack, with captain, Khaleem Hyland firing into the arms of Ward in the 10th minute.
Hedges looked lively in the opening phases, but the Barnsley man was unable to fully connect with Gunter’s cross to test Phillip.
And Woodburn failed to test the Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper with a header from Vaulks’ cross soon after.
Wales’ best move of the opening 45 came just before the half hour mark as Evans teed up Thomas, although the Scunthorpe man fired just over..
Thomas tried his luck from distance once again just before the break, although his low driven shot went wide of the mark as the score remained level at half time.
Barnsley goalkeeper Adam Davies replaced Ward at the break, becoming the 12th player to be given his international debut by Giggs in the process.
And Wales looked to get on the front foot immediately after the restart as Woodburn ran at the visitors’ defence before attempting to play Roberts through on goal, although his pass was just too heavy.
Thomas continued to look threatening at the business end of the pitch and forced Phillip into a save with a snap shot from the left.
And Roberts jinked his way through the opposition defence before drilling a left-footed shot at goal, although his effort was always rising as it sailed over the crossbar.
But Wales almost went behind on the hour mark as David fired at goal, but Gunter was on hand to clear off the line after Davies had been left stranded.
Thomas had a shot blocked by Kevan George just after James Lawrence and Declan John had replaced Ashley Williams and Paul Dummett respectively.
And Vaulks was the next to have efforts for the hosts, although he was twice denied in quick succession with efforts from the edge of the box.
Wales finally thought they had broken the deadlock soon after as Hedges’ dink over the away side’s defence was headed home by Thomas, but the 21-year-old was in an offside position.
Woodburn failed to keep a header on target as the game ticked into the final quarter while Evans was perhaps fortunate to only be shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Leston Paul in the final stages.
But Woodburn was on hand to bundle home in the third minute of injury time to earn his side victory.



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