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Played
October 12, 2013 12:15 AM IST
Cardiff City Stadium — Cardiff (Caerdydd)
Referee:‬ S. Baliyan‎
Attendance:‬ 11257‎
 
67′ Simon Church
 
Top of the Match
Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey
Wales
Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey
Wales
Flop of the Match
Predrag Ranđelović
Predrag Ranđelović
Macedonia FYR
Agim Ibraimi
Agim Ibraimi
Macedonia FYR

Wales 1-0 Macedonia: Church hands Coleman rare win

A goal from the Charlton Athletic striker, assisted by veteran Craig Bellamy, was enough to secure three points in the Group A clash at the Cardiff City Stadium on Friday night

Aaron Ramsey and Ezgjan Alioski Wales v Macedonia FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier 10112013
Getty Images
A second-half winner from Simon Church handed Wales a narrow victory against Macedonia on Friday night.

The Charlton Athletic forward netted in the 67th minute but the night perhaps belonged to Craig Bellamy, who announced earlier this week that he will retire from international football after Tuesday's final qualifier in Belgium.

The Wales veteran duly marked his 77th cap by setting up Church for the striker to fire home the only goal of the game in the second half.

However, Aaron Ramsey missed a late penalty for the home side- but it mattered little as Wales secured a win that boosted the side's chances of avoiding finishing bottom of Group A.

Manager Chris Coleman secured the three points with limited resources too, having been forced into making seven changes from the team that lost 3-0 to Serbia at the start of September, with 10 of his players dropping out of the squad in recent days.

The hosts, though, were boosted by the presence of Arsenal man Ramsey as the midfielder shrugged off a dead leg to captain the side.  

Macedonia interim manager Zoran Stratev also opted to tinker following his side's 2-1 defeat against Scotland, with strikers Agim Ibraimi and Mirko Ivanovski two of five changes to the starting XI.

The disjointed sides made for a fairly tight opening 10 minutes but it was Stratev’s men who had the first clear chance in front of goal, with Goran Pandev’s weak shot not really challenging Wayne Hennessey early on.

Wales were next to try their luck in the 21st minute, however, with Tomislav Pacovski dealing well with a fine curling effort from Neil Taylor to prevent Macedonia going ahead.

The game continued to open up and both teams squandered valuable chances with Nikolce Noveski firing over from close range shortly before Church headed just clear of the crossbar for Wales.

The second half began in a similar fashion, although Macedonia had the lion’s share of the early chances, with Predrag Randelovic's long-range shot flying over the bar before Ezgjan Alioski saw his fine cross cut out by Chris Gunter.

But it was the home side who eventually managed to break the deadlock with just over 20 minutes remaining in the 66th minute thanks to a typical surging Bellamy run.

The Cardiff City striker tore down the wing and eventually produced a fine ball into the box that was smashed home with no hesitation by 24-year-old forward Church, giving the hosts the advantage.

The visitors did their best to hit back, though, and just minutes later Ibraimi struck from range only to see a confident save from Hennessey deny him an equaliser.

Yet Wales then had the perfect chance to double their advantage from the penalty spot after Ramsey was felled by Noveski. The Arsenal midfielder saw his effort well saved by Pacovski, however.


Wales

26
Wayne Hennessey
Goalkeeper
92′
3.00
2
Chris Gunter
Defender
3.50
19
James Collins
Defender
3.50
42
Declan John
Striker
58′
3.50
3
Neil Taylor
Defender
74′
3.00
19
3.00
10
Andy King
Midfielder
3.00
16
Aaron Ramsey
Midfielder
85′
4.00
-
David Vaughan
Midfielder
2.50
39
Craig Bellamy
Striker
67′
3.50
-
Simon Church
Striker
67′ 91′
3.50

Macedonia FYR

3.00
-
3.00
4
2.50
-
Vance Sikov
Midfielder
79′
2.50
19
3.00
-
Muhamed Demiri
Midfielder
85′
2.50
-
2.00
-
3.00
19
2.50
10
3.00
-

Substitutes

13
B. Myhill
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
16
 - 
29
 - 
30
 - 
-
 - 
-
Harry Wilson
Midfielder
 - 
-
Lloyd Isgrove
Midfielder
 - 
-
2.50

Substitutes

 - 
-
2.50
-
 - 
17
 - 
15
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
David Babunski
Midfielder
 - 
22
Darko Tasevski
Midfielder
75′
 - 
-
2.50
-

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
Group A Matchday 10
Times In IST
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robin van Persie Robin van Persie
Striker
Man. United
11 2
Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko
Striker
Manchester City
10 0
Mesut Özil Mesut Özil
Midfielder
Arsenal
8 3
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
8 1
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
8 0