Wales 1-0 Republic of Ireland: David Brooks’ header seals Rob Page’s men victory


David Brooks’ second-half lead kept Wales top of their Nations League group after claiming a hard-contested 1-0 win over Republic of Ireland at Cardiff City Stadium.It was a generally close encounter between two teams who had met six times in just over three and a half years, with neither goalkeeper having been primarily tested for extended periods in the Welsh capital.

But Brooks scored his second goal for his country to earn all three points for Wales and ensure they keep a grim position in first place in League B group four before their final day of meeting with Finland Wednesday evening.

Wales’ intention was clear even before a ball was kicked as they named an exciting attacking-focused formation in an effort to get the game through to an Irish side who were winless in their last seven outings and had only scored once in six games under Stephen Kenny. .

And to further underline the magnitude of the task that was presented to the visitors, they came up against a Welsh side who entered the match as one of only three of the 55 Nations League participants to concede a goal in the current competition.

Due to Wayne Hennessey’s absence due to injury, Danny Ward got his first competitive start for his country since the Euro 2016 triumph over Slovakia.

The home side have stayed true to the three-full-back system that served them well in Bulgaria last month, with Joe Rodon, Chris Mepham and Ben Davies starting ahead of Ward while Neco Williams and Rhys Norrington-Davies were deployed as full backs.

Joe Morrell lined up alongside Ethan Ampadu in the middle of the park while captain Gareth Bale was part of an attacking trio that also included Daniel James and Brooks.

But Wales’ efforts fell short of the stats, and they survived an early scare as Irish captain Shane Duffy could only lead Robbie Brady’s teasing free kick away from the mark in two minutes.

The visitors will no doubt have been happy with their start, and Wales failed to test Darren Randolph from the start, with Rodon leading James’ corner eight yards away.

Brady made an effort just over the crossbar before Brooks’ deflected effort was easily handled by Randolph on the other end, with both goalies becoming more involved.

However, despite being somewhat flat, Wales almost had a moment of magic Bale as he tried his luck with a daring free kick from no less than 35 yards, although his efforts touched the top. of Randolph’s crossbar.

Joe Allen’s creativity was sorely missed in the middle of the pitch, and Ireland looked to capitalize in that department as James McClean was turned down by Ward’s legs at the half hour mark.

Rodon pulled off a superb last minute tackle to prevent Adam Idah from having a clear run on goal as the Irish continued to beat what was a cautious encounter.

The task could well have been made more difficult for Wales as Morrell was fortunate enough to receive only a yellow card after kicking Jayson Molumby who was fouled on Williams as the match warmed up.

David Brooks of Wales celebrates after scoring his team’s opening goal during the UEFA Nations League group stage game between Wales and Republic of Ireland at Cardiff City Stadium

Page received a heavy blow five minutes after the restart as Davies was given a yellow card for a cheap foul on Molumby meaning the Tottenham man is suspended for the clash with Finland.

However, they showed signs of improvement, with Davies and Bale attempting on goal.

But after failing to cause any major problems for Randolph, Page sent Kieffer Moore just past the hour, with Norrington-Davies making way as Wales fell to four.

And the hosts found the breakthrough midway through the second half as Bale led a cross from James, who went through Moore’s header back into the box, and Brooks came home from close to give his team the lead. .

This was the type of resolve that Wales have shown so often lately, and it has ensured that they are able to remove any kind of sting from the final stages.

Kenny responded by sending in Conor Hourihane and James Collins, the latter having a shot saved by Ward with 15 minutes remaining.

But they were almost caught at the counter as James’s header sent Brooks on goal, though the Bournemouth ace was bluntly denied by Randolph as the game remained on a razor’s edge with 10 minutes remaining.

Bale went on to break through wide as Callum O’Dowda and Jack Byrne were sent to Ireland.

Moore had a chance to seal him in added time, although he couldn’t beat Randolph before Jeff Hendrick was sent off to death for a foul on substitute Tyler Roberts.

Although Wales – who are now unbeaten in 10 competitive appearances – continued to score their seventh straight clean sheet in a competitive game while making sure they only needed a draw against Finland to guarantee his promotion to League A.

Wales: Quartier; Mepham, Rodon, B Davies; N Williams, Ampadu, Morrell, Norrington-Davies (Moore 62); Bale (C), Brooks (T Roberts 88), James.

Unused Submarines: Fon Williams, King, Gunter, Lockyer, Sheehan, Matondo, C Roberts, J Lawrence, Smith, Johnson.

Cartons jaunes: Morrell 38, B Davies 50

Objective: Brooks 67

Republic of Ireland: Randolph; Doherty, Duffy (C), Horgan (Knight 58), O’Shea (O’Dowda 82); Molumby (Hourihane 75), Brady (J Byrne 82), K Long; Hendrick, Idah (Collins 75), McClean.

Unused Submarines: Travers, Kelleher, Manning, Clark, Christie, Maguire, Curtis.

Cartons jaunes: Molumby 38, Knight 79

Carton rouge: Hendrick 90 + 4

Referee: Petr Ardeleanu

You can relive the match updates in their entirety below:


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