Bale fails to inspire Wales as 2018 struggles continue

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Ryan Giggs' side fell to a 2-1 defeat to Denmark in Cardiff on Friday, failing to clinch promotion to the Nations League top tier

Wales missed out on promotion to the Nations League top tier after being beaten 2-1 by Denmark on Friday evening.

Goals from Mathias Jorgensen and Martin Braithwaite gave the away side a two-goal lead on the night, with Gareth Bale scoring a consolation goal late on.

The defeat means that Wales have lost back-to-back home matches in all competitions for the first time since September 2012.

Ryan Giggs’ side have just three victories to their name this year, having eased past China back in March and beaten the Republic of Ireland on two separate occasions in the Nations League.

They went into Friday’s match knowing avoiding a defeat would see them promoted to the top tier of the Nations League but struggled against a Denmark side who beat them 2-0 in Aarhus in September.

Wales have now conceded as many goals in their last four international matches (seven) as they had in their previous 12 combined.

Star man Gareth Bale was absent during the last international break but his return to action was not enough to see Wales past an organised Denmark side on the night.

The Real Madrid winger’s late goal means he has been directly involved in seven goals (five goals, two assists) in just five appearances for Wales in 2018. That’s 63% of the team's goals, with Giggs’ side scoring just 11 themselves in that time.

Former Manchester United star Giggs took over as manager of the Welsh national side in January after Chris Coleman, who famously guided his side to the Euro 2016 semi-finals, left for Sunderland at the end of last year.

Giggs had little previous managerial experience prior to his appointment, having taken charge of Manchester United on an interim basis in 2014.

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Wales missed out on a place at this year's World Cup and now face a battle to qualify for Euro 2020.

Friday's defeat was Wales’ sixth loss to Denmark in 10 matches against the Scandanavian side.

They now face a friendly against Albania in their final match of the calendar year on Tuesday. 

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