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Wales exit in cruel play off final
Wednesday, 27th Mar 2024 08:00 by Liam Walters & Keith Haynes

It was cruel and a bitter way to leave the qualification phase of the Euro Championships which should, and most certainly could have seen Wales qualify for Germany 2024 this summer. We can look at the referee and his desire to dominate the game, but really Wales had chances to qualify in this play off.

The choice of Kieffer Moore to start may well now be seen as the first error of the evening. The chances he had throughout the ninety and extra time were significant enough to ask the question regards Rob Page (below) including him in this game. David Brooks excelled against Finland but a more robust approach was Page’s decision and for many it was the wrong choice. That aside he wasn’t to blame entirely for the loss in Cardiff.

Moore wasn’t the only reason for this penalty shoot out defeat. Captain Ben Davies had a goal ruled offside, and it was confirmed by VAR. Minutes later he spurned a chance to add to the overall frustration. Both sides took control for minimal periods of the game but during this whole encounter Poland failed to get a shot on target.

Pyrotechnics in the away end confirmed the pathetic inability of the security within the ground to prevent what the FAW described yesterday as a serious operation against this behaviour. Security at Cardiff has long had a question mark over its abilities, and for many years the connections to hooliganism are well documented. The disgusting remarks over the Millennium Stadium PA system - and displayed on screens in the ground regards Swans fan Terry Cole’s death (killed at a Swans game twenty four years ago) The message was sent by an ‘Alan Davies’. It wasnt of course, Alan Davies took his own life when a Swans player. There are also numerous connections to Cardiff City and fans banned from football when following England. All catered for and allowed by previous Cardiff City owners. We are not and never will be afraid to say it.

That’s here —> ⚽️ Terry Cole’s death mocked at Wales international

The first flares brought laughter and indeed applause from some of the gathered Wales support, it was an indictment and a sad one at that of the incompetency of the ‘security’ personnel on duty last night. and the Welsh FA want details of people not at the game who may or may not have committed offences passed to the stadiums security ?


That’s here —> ⚽️ Threats by the FAW are pure folly

The game itself was all consuming. A constant ebb and flow of chances, excellent Wales defending from Ben Davies, Connor Roberts and Joe Rodon enabling Wales to remain hopeful this game would see another international Euro campaign this summer. Poland stopper, Wojciech Szczesny saved remarkably well from Moore which ensured the tension rose amongst the thirty thousand present. Half chances came and went but most in the stadium knew where this would end. And end it did when Dan James saw his spot kick saved to see his country eliminated in a very cruel way. Wales have never been in a penalty shoot out situation before, and history tells us when the pressure is on that they rarely get the run of luck needed. Despite Harry Wilson’s industry and Dan James pace their extreme effort was not meant to be, and once again we see Wales exit a qualification process at the last knockings.

Even Chris Mepham’s (below) sending off for what seemed like a fair challenge did not surprise anyone watching this game. Ben Davies (below) may well be entering the autumn of his international career but he will look back at this fixture as a chance missed to potentially lead his country in a major tournament.

What we can take from this game is the future of the national side, and it is a positive one. The future of the head coach Rob Page isn’t as promising. It’s time for a new appointment and a complete overhaul of not only the head coach role but his coaching staff as well. It hasn’t been good enough, and the future has to include a fresh outlook, new faces and personnel who have far more experience at the top level of international football.

Regardless of their nationality.

⚽️ Wales: Ward; 6 Mepham, 5 Rodon, 7 Davies (capt) 7 Roberts 6 (Brooks 84 (Broadhead 111), J.James, 6 Ampadu, 6 Williams; 7 Wilson, 7 Moore, 6 Johnson 5 (D.James 70) 6

Subs: Hennessey, King, Fox, Ramsey, Matondo, Savage, Cullen, Dasilva, Sheehan

⚽️ Poland: Szczesny; Bednarek (Piatek 80), Dawidowicz, Kiwior; Frankowski, Piotrowski (Romanchuk 115), Slisz, Zielinski (S.Szymanski 101), Zalewski; Swiderski (Salamon 80), Lewandowski

Subs: Skorupski, Bulka, Walukiewicz, Puchacz, Grosicki, Buksa, Szymankski, Bereszynski,

⚽️ Images from Swansea Independent.

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Photographs licensed from Reuters & ©️Swansea Independent

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