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Friendlies

  • May 27, 2012
  • • 20:05
  • • MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
  • Referee: R. Salazar
  • • Attendance: 35518
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Mexico 2-0 Wales: De Nigris double leaves Coleman searching for first win

Mexico 2-0 Wales: De Nigris double leaves Coleman searching for first win

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The Monterrey forward struck late in each half to give his side a well-earned victory, as the British side struggled to live with El Tri's tempo in the New Jersey heat

Chris Coleman suffered defeat in his first game in charge as Wales fell to a 2-0 loss against Mexico on Sunday night.

Aldo De Nigris struck late in each half to earn his side a well-deserved win, as the Welsh laboured in the heat of New Jersey against the impressive hosts.

Tottenham’s Giovanni dos Santos started for the home side, while Severo Meza made his debut in the centre of defence. For Wales, there were starts for Reading’s Hal Robson-Kanu, while Aberdeen’s Jason Brown donned the gloves in place of long-term absentee Wayne Hennessey.

Mexico started brightly and Brown was called into action early on by Dos Santos, who forced the 30-year-old into a low save after shooting from a tight angle.

Minutes later, debutant Maza rose unmarked just six yards from goal, but a last-ditch block from Chris Gunter saw the ball deflected over the bar.

Wales had little of the possession and failed to threaten on rare counter-attacking opportunities. Robson-Kanu missed their best opening of the first half when he met Craig Bellamy’s cross, but the midfielder could only direct the ball over the bar.

On the other hand, Edgar Andrade looked continually dangerous when venturing forward for Mexico, narrowly shooting over after being played in by Carlos Salcido in his best chance. Moments later, the full-back then found De Nigris only for Brown to save smartly at the near post.

Wales struggled to contain the hosts’ movement, with Andrade in particular finding regular space in behind Robson-Kanu and Dave Edwards in the heart of the Welsh midfield. The Chiapas player came close again after some good interplay with Dos Santos, but once more he saw his effort from 20 yards fly over the bar.

It looked as if Wales would see out the first half with a clean sheet, despite Mexico’s dominance on the ball, but on 43 minutes, the deadlock was broken after a lapse in concentration from Gunter.

Meza was played in down the right flank, and he had time and space to cross towards the far post where De Nigris rose completely unmarked to head home past Brown, with the right-back failing to track his run from deep.

The hosts began the second half as they had finished the first, with the Welsh unable to get a foothold in midfield. First Meza and then Dos Santos were denied by Brown, while Hector Moreno somehow contrived to turn the ball harmlessly back across goal when unmarked at the near post following a corner.

Brown was called into action moments later, pulling off a brilliant point-blank save to deny the lively Dos Santos from just five yards out.

Mexico continued to play at furious tempo, with Wales struggling to live with the speed of their passing in the New Jersey heat. Joe Allen registered their only effort of note as the game reached the hour mark, blasting high over the untested Corona’s crossbar from distance, before Bellamy did likewise after 70 minute.

Despite their dominance, Mexico were unable to net that all-important second goal. Barrera spurned arguably the best chance of the half when he met Jorge Torres Nilo’s cross at the far post, but he sliced wide on the volley from close range.

Substitute Angel Reyna then came within inches of bursting the back of the net after good work from Salcido, as he spun on the edge of the box and fired just wide of Brown’s right-hand post.

Bellamy had looked a threat when Wales did cross the halfway line, and he came close to providing a late equaliser for Coleman's side, first seeing his long-range free kick deflected over the bar before turning provider for Sam Ricketts, who failed to connect with the Liverpool man's cross.

It proved to be a decisive miss, as with just two minutes left on the clock, Mexico finally netted a second.

Andrade found himself with time and space following a corner, and his fierce cross was flicked home by the head of De Nigris, who was once again unmarked in the centre of the Welsh penalty area.


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