Wales draw with Estonia definitely causes World Cup qualification problems
Thursday, 9th Sep 2021 09:48 by Gruff Stephens
You can dominate as many games as you want, but when you don’t put the ball in the net the situation is simple. You don’t win games. Robert Page again displayed a tactical frailty in his thinking as Wales stumbled to a 0-0 draw against Group E whipping boys Estonia. They of course will be delighted. It’s their first point of their qualification.
Robert Page can talk the talk and say whatever he likes, but it doesn’t rub with many Wales followers "Whatever competition we go into, we always want to finish top," said the manager. "We're in a tough group. We've got the Czech Republic, who we got a win against at home which was a great result, and we all know the qualities Belgium have got. "Of course they're going to be favourites but why would you enter a competition happy with finishing second or third? It's not in our DNA, it's not in our make-up. "We won't accept that, we want top spot. If we slightly underachieve and get second spot, it's a better play-off place so there's lots to play for."
Regards the game itself, Gareth Bale hit the woodwork late in the game on the rebound from his own effort, while Tyler Roberts was denied by Karl Hein when played clean through and Harry Wilson sidefooted wide from a good position in the opening minute. In fact there were multiple opportunities for Wales to score, Bale again, Roberts and Wilson all missed good chances. It’s enough to say had one gone in then more would have followed.
Robert Page has noticeable limitations but thrust on him by the suspension from managerial duties by Ryan Giggs, he still awaits his trial for two counts of assault last year. The two dropped points last night, Covid vaccination refusals by players like Kieffer Moore have affected Wales opportunities to gain early points. Now nine points behind group leaders Belgium it is imperative the national side doesn’t lose in the Czech Republic next month.
For Wales not to qualify for next years World Cup would be a blow, expectations are now raised for the national side to win their home games, making last nights result even more disappointing. We all hope the 2016 Euros wasn’t the last memorable moment, for many the first in their lifetime. The next two games are crucial. Come out of them with four points and the group qualification is wide open again. Fail, and sadly we can wave our hopes of Christmas in Qatar goodbye.
Photographs licensed from Reuters
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