News Matches

Wales v Finland Live Commentary, 18/11/2020

3 - 1
H. Wilson (29)
D. James (46)
K. Moore (84)
T. Pukki (63)
Cardiff City Stadium


That's all from us today folks, we hope you enjoyed the game!
Wales finish their Nations League campaign unbeaten with five wins and one draw, to top Group 4, whilst Finland finish second.
Wales clinch promotion to League A with a 3-1 victory over Finland, thanks to goals from Wilson, James and Moore. It was 1-0 at the break, after Wilson fired them ahead and Finland had a man sent off. It took a matter of seconds for the hosts to double their lead after the restart with James scoring a wonderful goal from the edge of the box. Pukki then pulled one back for the visitors as they pushed in search of an equaliser. However, Moore grabbed a third late on to wrap up the win.
C. Gunter
R. Norrington-Davies
90' + 3' Final substitution for Wales now, with Norrington-Davies replaced by Gunter.
90' + 1' Not too far away! Lawrence with a good strike from just inside the box, but it flies wide of the Finland goal.
90' There will be a minimum of four minutes added time played at the end of the game.
M. Forss
T. Pukki
89' Finland have made a late substitution as well, with Pukki coming off and he has been replaced by Forss.
T. Roberts
H. Wilson
89' The other Wales substitution sees Wilson replaced by Tyler Roberts.
D. Brooks
D. James
89' Late changes here for Wales, with James coming off, who has been excellent tonight and he has been replaced by Brooks.
87' There's just a couple of minutes left on the clock now and Wales are starting to slow the pace down and just relax more on the ball, trying to see it out.
85' OFF THE POST! Pukki strikes the woodwork, so close to making it 3-2! Despite being a man down for most of the game, Finland have been excellent at times. The striker shows great movement to find space in the box and then power an effort towards goal, but it strikes the post and bounces wide.
D. James
84' James skips down the left wing, shows a great turn of pace to get away from his marker and spot Moore in the box, who makes no mistakes with the finish.
K. Moore
84' GOOOAAALLL! It’s 3-1! Moore surely wraps up the victory for Wales now! James lofts a lovely ball into the box for the striker, who powers a header into the back of the net from close range after getting away from his marker.
82' We're into the final 10 minutes of the game now, can Wales score another and put this game beyond doubt? Or, will Finland be able to nick a late equaliser and make it a very interesting final few minutes.
80' Finland have lost just one of their last five encounters with Wales (W2 D2), although that defeat came in their most recent match – A 1-0 defeat in September in Helsinki.
78' It seems Moore has a problem here after a collision off the ball. The medical staff are on the pitch, but it looks like he will be fine to continue.
E. Ampadu
Yellow Card
76' The first yellow card of the game is shown to Ampadu after he pulls back Valakari, stopping him from breaking forward on the attack.
74' Close! Toivio with a wild effort from just inside the penalty area after Wales fail to deal with a couple of Finland balls into the box. However, it flies wide of the goal.
O. Valakari
R. Schüller
73' Finland have made another substitution, with Schuller the man coming off and he has been replaced by Valakari.
71' The other fixture in this group is currently goalless between the Republic of Ireland and Bulgaria, in a game that decides who will be relegated.
69' FINLAND CHANCE! Another good opportunity for the visitors as they work the ball well down the left and Hamalainen is allowed space at the far post to sneak in and he drills an effort towards the near post. However, Ward gets across well and makes an excellent save from close range to deny him.
67' BLOCKED! James tries to pick his spot after the ball falls nicely to his feet in the penalty area. However, Arajuuri gets across and makes an excellent block. There are a couple of shouts for a penalty by Wales, but the referee waves away their appeals.
65' Wales have conceded their first goal of this Nations League campaign, having kept a clean sheet in all of their other five games.
R. Lod
63' Wales were caught out in midfield and Lod was allowed far too much time and space to sprint forward and he picked out Pukki perfectly for the goal.
T. Pukki
63' GOOOAAALLL! Finland have pulled a goal back, it's 2-1! Lod with an excellent ball over the top of the Wales defence to Pukki, who then takes a touch and fires it past Ward and into the back of the net. Can they go on and get an equaliser?
P. Soiri
R. Taylor
62' The other Finland change sees Taylor replaced by Soiri.
N. Hämäläinen
D. O'Shaughnessy
61' Finland have made a double substitution, the first sees O'Shaughnessy replaced by Hamalainen.
T. Lawrence
G. Bale
61' Here is the Wales substitution, with Bale the man coming off and he has been replaced by Lawrence.
60' It looks like both teams are getting ready to make a couple of changes to try and freshen up their sides and add a bit more pace into the game.
59' Good strike! Bale works some space on the edge of the penalty area, plays a quick one-two and gets the ball back, before firing a powerful strike towards goal. However, it's too close to Hradecky who makes a good save.
57' Good play! James drifts out to the left wing, he then cuts inside and dribbles past a couple of Finland defenders, before firing a low effort towards the bottom right-hand corner. However, it goes just wide.
56' Wales have their opponents penned inside their own half once again here, just controlling the game at their own pace and looking for a third goal.
54' CHANCE! Pukki is released through on goal and he has the opportunity to fire an effort towards goal, but his shot is weak and comfortably gathered by Ward. Wasted opportunity.
53' Wales remain unbeaten in their last 10 competitive games (W7 D3) since a 1-0 defeat to Hungary in Euro 2020 qualifying back in June 2019 – the Dragons’ joint-longest run without defeat in competitive fixtures (alongside a run of 10 between October 2013 – September 2015).
51' CHANCE! Bale is once again denied by Hradecky after he races in behind and fires an effort towards goal from a tight angle. The ball then bounces dangerously around the penalty area and Wilson wants it laying off for him to strike, but instead it goes to James and his shot is blocked and eventually cleared.
50' This is the worst possible start to the second half for Finland, who will have been hoping to just sit deep, soak up the pressure and then perhaps nick a goal with a counter-attack to get back into the game.
48' That should be the three points secured for Wales now, as it is going to be very difficult for Finland to go on and score three goals here with only 10 men.
J. Morrell
46' Morrell played a quick pass to James in space around 25 yards out and the Manchester United man did the rest with a superb strike.
D. James
46' GOOOAAALLL! Wales double their lead, it's 2-0! What a strike from James! Moore nicks the ball back for Wales in the final third, flicks it back to Morrell, who then lays it through to James and he looks up and smashes it into the top left-hand corner of the net.
46' The second half is under way!
K. Moore
J. Lawrence
46' Wales have made a substitution ahead of the second half, with Lawrence replaced by Moore.
Wales will be confident of extending their lead and securing the points needed to win the group, with Finland unable to get into the final third and cause Ward any problems.
Wales lead 1-0 at the break after Wilson fired them ahead on 29 minutes, following good build-up play and a nice throughball by Bale. Finland had a man sent off after just 12 minutes, when Uronen was shown a straight red card after he fouled Wilson who was through on goal. The hosts could’ve scored a few more, but Hradecky has been excellent, making numerous saves to deny them.
45' There will be a minimum of one minute added time played at the end of the first half.
43' The pace of the game has dropped slightly in the last few minutes as there are a few tired Finland players out there now and Wales are really putting them under a great deal of pressure.
41' There's not long left to play in Cardiff before the end of the first half now, but can Wales extend their lead before the half-time whistle?
39' As it stands Wales will be promoted to League A, after topping their group with a total of 16 points and remaining unbeaten.
37' Bale has now been directly involved in 14 goals in his last 14 home games for Wales, scoring nine and assisting five.
35' Decent effort! Connor Roberts delivers a deep cross into the box and Norrington-Davies meets it at the far post and takes the shot first-time. However, his strike flies high over the Finland crossbar.
33' Blocked! Mepham tries his luck with a powerful strike from the edge of the penalty area. However, it is blocked and flies out wide for a corner.
31' Wales are looking for a second goal now, to try and extend their lead before the break and make it more comfortable. However, Finland try and counter themselves and they could cause Wales some problems if the hosts aren't careful.
G. Bale
29' Bale cuts inside and tries to turn, but it's blocked. However, it falls straight back to him luckily and he spots the run of Wilson behind the defence and the winger did the rest with a fine finish.
H. Wilson
29' GOOOAAALLL! Wales take the lead, it's 1-0! It's good, patient build-up by Wales, but Bale finds a little bit of space after a lucky bounce and slides the ball in behind the Finland defence for Wilson who fires it into the back of the net past Hradecky.
28' Finland are set up in a 5-4-1 formation now following the red card and it's almost like attack versus defence at the moment.
26' CHANCE! Another fantastic save by Hradecky to deny Bale! James finds himself down the right wing and he whips a lovely ball into the penalty area, that Bale meets on the edge of the six-yard box and he pokes it towards goal. However, the Finland keeper dives to his right and denies him superbly. Bale will be wondering how he didn't score!
25' It's all Wales at the moment, they are piling on the pressure and Finland have to have everyone back behind the ball to try and soak it all up.
23' SAVE! Hradecky makes a great save to deny Norrington-Davies, after his cross from the left flies dangerously close to the goal and looks like it could dip under the crossbar and sneak in. However, Hradecky tips it over and out for a corner.
21' Wales have won just two of their last nine meetings with Finland in all competitions since 1988 (D3 L4), a 2-0 win in September 2002 under Mark Hughes and a 1-0 victory in the most recent clash back in September.
19' It looks like Finland are going to be strong at set-pieces, this is going to be their best opportunity to get a goal here as Wales currently have them penned inside their own half.
17' CHANCE! Great opportunity for Finland! O'Shaughnessy meets a corner in the middle of the box, he gets away from his marker and tries to side-foot the ball into the back of the net, but it doesn't strike his foot cleanly and instead it flies wide and strikes Pukki, before bouncing up and Ward eventually gathers to clear the danger.
15' It will be interesting to see how Finland react to going down to 10 men now, they are surely going to have to sit deep and defend for much of the game.
13' SAVE! Bale steps up to take a free-kick following the Uronen sending-off, it's around 30 yards out and within shooting distance. Bale gets it around the wall and it flies towards goal; however, it is too close to Hradecky and he makes a good save.
J. Uronen
Red Card
12' RED CARD! Wales counter straight from the Finland free-kick and Wilson gets in behind the visitors' defence, with Uronen the last man. Uronen gets on the wrong side of the Wales man and pulls him down to the ground, a blatant foul to stop Wilson from sprinting through on goal. The referee had no hesitation in sending him off after 12 minutes.
11' Free-kick to Finland in a decent position after Ampadu catches Taylor late halfway into the Wales half, but Ward comfortably gathers the set piece in the air.
9' Not too far away! Norrington-Davies whips a good cross into the box from the left wing and James tries to get on the end of it, but he just can't quite reach it and Finland manage to clear the danger.
7' Neither team has been able to settle on the ball in these opening few minutes, with possession switching back and forth at the moment.
5' CHANCE! Bale with the first opportunity of the game for Wales! Finland try to play the ball out from the back and O'Shaughnessy plays it across his own goal and it goes nowhere near any of his team-mates, which allows Bale to picks it up at the far post and he fires a low shot at goal from a tight angle. However, Hradecky makes an excellent save.
4' Almost! Bale wins the ball back for Wales in the middle of the pitch and he tries to release James in behind the Finland defence. However, his lofted ball over the top is too heavy and it goes out of play.
3' Good start here by Wales, they are putting their opponents under some good pressure and win the first corner of the game, which Rodon gets his head to at the far post. However, the referee pulls him up for a foul on his marker.
1' We're under way!
The teams are out on the pitch and kick-off is just a few minutes away, stay tuned for all of the match action!
Finland have made two changes to their starting line-up from the side that beat Bulgaria, with Tom Sparv and Joel Pohjanpalo dropping out of the side, due to suspension and injury, and they have been replaced by O’Shaughnessy and Schuller.
Wales have made three changes to their side. Ben Davies misses out due to suspension, so he has been replaced by Lawrence in defence as Wales switch to a four-man backline. Neco Williams and Brooks also drop out of the starting XI, replaced by Wilson and Roberts.
FINLAND SUBS: Jesse Joronen, Anssi Jaakkola, Albin Granlund, Juhani Ojala, Rasmus Karjalainen, Marcus Forss, Pyry Soiri, Onni Valakari, Ilmari Niskanen, Niko Hamalainen, Joni Kauko.
FINLAND (4-4-2): Lukas Hradecky; Nikolai Alho, Paulus Arajuuri, Joona Toivio, Jere Uronen; Robin Lod, Glen Kamara, Daniel O'Shaughnessy, Robert Taylor; Rasmus Schuller, Teemu Pukki.
WALES SUBS: Tom Lawrence, David Brooks, Tom Lockyer, Owain Fon Williams, Tom King, Jonathan Williams, Tyler Roberts, Chris Gunter, Matthew Smith, Neco Williams, Kieffer Moore, Josh Sheehan.
WALES (4-4-2): Danny Ward; Connor Roberts, Chris Mepham, Joe Rodon, James Lawrence; Harry Wilson, Ethan Ampadu, Joe Morrell, Rhys Norrington-Davies; Daniel James, Gareth Bale.
Meanwhile Finland have suffered just one defeat which came against Wales, but they beat Bulgaria 2-1 last time out and they also defeated France 2-0 in a friendly last week. Finland must win in order to secure promotion, while Wales just need a point.
It’s a battle to see which country will gain promotion from League B, with Wales currently top of Group 4 on 13 points and Finland just one place and point behind them. Wales have drawn one and won their other four games, all by a 1-0 scoreline, including a victory over the Republic of Ireland last time out.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE match commentary of the UEFA Nations League clash between Wales and Finland at the Cardiff City Stadium.