Wales 0-1 Uruguay: Narrow Welsh defeat in China Cup final
A goal for Edinson Cavani in his 100th appearance for Uruguay was the difference as Wales missed out on lifting their first trophy outright since 1937.
Wales were under pressure from the kick off as Barcelona striker Luis Suarez hit the post twice in the opening fifteen minutes. Ryan Giggs’ side got themselves back into the game and were unlucky not to get a goal themselves, particularly through Andy King’s long-range efforts.
With Wales unchanged from their 6-0 win over China in the semi-final, the team looked comfortable on the ball against a Uruguayan side tipped to go far in this year’s FIFA World Cup. Both keepers were kept busy and pulled off some impressive saves. Wayne Hennessey tipped Cavani’s long-range shot over the bar and Fernando Muslera palmed away a Gareth Bale header towards the bottom corner to the end of the half.
The South Americans came out strongly in the second half, forcing early pressure on Wales. Uruguay were rewarded in the 49th minute as they forced an overlap where Cristian Rodriguez squared the ball across to Cavani who rolled the ball into an open net. Minutes later Oscar Tabarez’s side could have doubled their lead but Luis Suarez’s goal was deemed offside by the referee.
We could have got something out the game but it wasn't meant to be. We'll keep learning, there's a lot of positives to take from the tournament.– GARETH BALE
Ryan Giggs made several changes which meant all outfield players out in China were given game time, including first caps for defender Connor Roberts and striker Billy Bodin. The substitutions did not look out of place against a Uruguay side boasting several players with over 100 appearances for their country.
Wales produced several chances in the second half, including several long-range strikes for midfielder Lee Evans and a goal mouth scramble with the ball narrowly missing the Uruguayan goal.
Despite late pressure and several set piece opportunities, Wales were unable to break down a solid Uruguayan defence to force the game into penalties and Uruguay lifted the 2018 China Cup.
Wales: Wayne Hennessey, Declan John (Connor Roberts 59’), James Chester (Tom Lockyer 75’), Ashley Williams, Ben Davies (Ryan Hedges 90’), Chris Gunter (Adam Matthews 79’), Joe Allen, Andy King, Gareth Bale, Harry Wilson (Lee Evans 72’), Sam Vokes (Billy Bodin 67’)
Uruguay: Muslera, Varela, Gimenez (Coates 8’), Godin, Laxalt, Nandez (Stuani 85’), Bentancur (Silva 78’), Vecino, Rodriguez (Torreira 70’), Suarez, Cavani (Gomez 93’)
Yellow Cards: J Allen
Goals: E Cavani (49’)