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Mexico 0-0 Wales

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Highlights: Mexico 0-0 Wales

A youthful Wales side held Mexico to a creditable goalless draw in Pasadena.

Wales lost captain Ashley Williams to injury in a first half in which keeper Wayne Hennessey kept Mexico at bay.

Ryan Giggs’ side had to withstand heavy second-half pressure in front of a fervent, almost entirely Mexican crowd of 82,345 at the Rose Bowl.

Mexico 0-0 Wales
Mexico 0-0 Wales

But Wales manager Giggs continued to introduce young players into the fray and they rewarded his faith with a stoic defensive display.

Giggs gives youth a chance

Wayne Hennessey makes a save
Wayne Hennessey made several key saves on his 76th appearance for Wales, which puts him clear of Dean Saunders in seventh in their all-time list

Shorn of several first-team players such as Gareth Bale, Joe Allen and James Chester, Wales travelled to California with a relatively youthful and experimental squad.

Despite those withdrawals, Giggs was still able to select a strong starting line-up in Pasadena, while Chester’s absence meant defender Chris Mepham earned a first international start.

However, the Brentford player lost his more senior centre-back partner Williams after just 20 minutes, the Wales skipper leaving the field in agony after injuring his rib.

These were not the circumstances in which Giggs wanted to test the depth of his squad, but the silver lining to Williams’ departure was that it handed a fourth cap to his replacement, Bristol Rovers’ Tom Lockyer.

That change did not seem to disrupt Wales, who were organised, competitive and provided danger on the break in the form of young Liverpool winger Harry Wilson – but Mexico certainly had the better chances.

Sensing their growing threat and eager to give more experience to his fringe players, Giggs introduced youngsters Connor Roberts, Declan John and David Brooks at half-time and regularly tweaked his formation in what seemed to be a ploy to keep Mexico guessing with their tactical fluidity.

Although Mexico’s dominance increased as the second half wore on, Giggs persevered with his commitment to youth as 21-year-old Leicester forward George Thomas and Manchester City’s 18-year-old midfielder Matt Smith came on for their debuts.

This was in keeping with the manager’s first two matches in charge in the China Cup friendly tournament in March – and the end of his predecessor Chris Coleman’s reign.

In fact, the second-half introductions of Thomas and Smith meant Wales have given debuts to 11 players in their last five matches, as Giggs looks to expand the pool of Welsh talent at his disposal as he builds for the future.

Mexico’s World Cup party spoiled

Ashley Williams on the floor in agony
Everton defender Ashley Williams was playing his first match in almost three months

While Wales had spent the past few months banishing the lingering disappointment of having failed to qualify for the World Cup, Mexico were using this game to prepare for a seventh successive appearance in the competition.

Their previous six campaigns had all ended at the last-16 stage but, with hopes of breaking through that ceiling in Russia this year, there was a sense of expectation among the throngs of Mexican supporters at the imposing Rose Bowl, the venue of the 1994 World Cup final.

In what was essentially a home match for this enormously populous and passionate – but somewhat underachieving – footballing nation and there was a carnival atmosphere as thousands of fans gathered for their tailgate parties outside the ground before kick-off.

Inside, the celebratory mood soon became one of frustration as the likes of Hector Herrera and Javier Aquino were thwarted by Hennessey.

Despite a flurry of late set-pieces, Mexico were unable to find a way past an obdurate Welsh defence and, when the final whistle blew, there were even a few jeers from the noisy El Tri faithful after watching what they deemed to be an underwhelming performance.

Man of the match – Wayne Hennessey

Action shot of Wayne Hennessey making a save as Wales scramble the ball clear
Chris Mepham and Tom Lockyer stepped up in central defence after Ashley Williams’ departure but, if it was not for Hennessey’s saves in the Welsh goal, Mexico would have won this comfortably.

Line-ups

Mexico

  • 1Corona
  • 24Álvarez
  • 4Ayala
  • 2Alanís
    Substituted forSalcedoat 45′minutes
  • 23Gallardo
  • 16Herrera
    Substituted fordos Santosat 61′minutes
  • 21Molina
    Substituted forDammat 45′minutes
  • 25GutiérrezBooked at 71mins
    Substituted forFabiánat 74′minutes
  • 17Corona
    Substituted fordos Santosat 69′minutes
  • 14Hernández
    Substituted forPeraltaat 59′minutes
  • 20Aquino

Substitutes

  • 3Salcedo
  • 6dos Santos
  • 8Fabián
  • 9Jiménez
  • 10dos Santos
  • 11Vela
  • 13Ochoa
  • 19Peralta
  • 22Lozano
  • 26Damm

Wales

  • 1Hennessey
  • 2Gunter
    Substituted forRobertsat 45′minutes
  • 6Williams
    Substituted forLockyerat 21′minutes
  • 5Mepham
  • 4Davies
  • 8King
  • 16Ledley
    Substituted forJohnat 45′minutes
  • 7Wilson
    Substituted forThomasat 64′minutes
  • 10RamseyBooked at 66mins
  • 11Lawrence
    Substituted forSmithat 81′minutes
  • 9Vokes
    Substituted forBrooksat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Richards
  • 12Maxwell
  • 13John
  • 14Evans
  • 15Lockyer
  • 17Hedges
  • 18Brooks
  • 19Roberts
  • 20Smith
  • 21Davies
  • 22Bradshaw
  • 23Thomas
Referee:
Armando Villarreal
Attendance:
82,345

Match Stats

Home TeamMexicoAway TeamWales
Possession
Home69%
Away31%
Shots
Home22
Away3
Shots on Target
Home9
Away1
Corners
Home12
Away2
Fouls
Home9
Away13

Live Text

Posted at

Match ends, Mexico 0, Wales 0.

Full Time

Posted at90’+2′

Second Half ends, Mexico 0, Wales 0.

Posted at90′

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Matt Smith.

Posted at89′

Attempt blocked. Jonathan dos Santos (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Posted at88′

Attempt blocked. Marco Fabián (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Oribe Peralta.

Posted at85′

Javier Aquino (Mexico) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at85′

Foul by Connor Roberts (Wales).

Posted at84′

Attempt missed. Jonathan dos Santos (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Javier Aquino.

Posted at84′

Attempt saved. Giovani dos Santos (Mexico) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marco Fabián with a through ball.

Substitution

Posted at81′

Substitution, Wales. Matt Smith replaces Tom Lawrence.

Posted at80′

Oribe Peralta (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at80′

Foul by Tom Lockyer (Wales).

Posted at77′

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Connor Roberts.

Posted at76′

Attempt saved. Jürgen Damm (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Posted at76′

Attempt blocked. Carlos Salcedo (Mexico) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marco Fabián with a cross.

Posted at75′

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Aaron Ramsey.

Posted at75′

Attempt blocked. Marco Fabián (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Javier Aquino.

Substitution

Posted at74′

Substitution, Mexico. Marco Fabián replaces Erick Gutiérrez.

Posted at73′

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Connor Roberts.

Posted at72′

Erick Gutiérrez (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at72′

Foul by Tom Lawrence (Wales).

Posted at72′

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Edson Álvarez.

Booking

Posted at71′

Erick Gutiérrez (Mexico) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Posted at71′

Foul by Erick Gutiérrez (Mexico).

Posted at71′

George Thomas (Wales) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Posted at69′

Substitution, Mexico. Giovani dos Santos replaces Jesús Manuel Corona.

Booking

Posted at66′

Aaron Ramsey (Wales) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Posted at66′

Edson Álvarez (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at66′

Foul by Aaron Ramsey (Wales).

Substitution

Posted at64′

Substitution, Wales. George Thomas replaces Harry Wilson.

Posted at64′

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Chris Mepham.

Posted at63′

Attempt blocked. Oribe Peralta (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Edson Álvarez.

Posted at61′

Attempt missed. Oribe Peralta (Mexico) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jonathan dos Santos with a cross.

Substitution

Posted at61′

Substitution, Mexico. Jonathan dos Santos replaces Héctor Herrera.

Posted at60′

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Wayne Hennessey.

Posted at60′

Attempt saved. Héctor Herrera (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Posted at59′

Substitution, Mexico. Oribe Peralta replaces Chicharito.

Posted at59′

Chicharito (Mexico) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at59′

Foul by Tom Lawrence (Wales).

Posted at57′

Javier Aquino (Mexico) wins a free kick in the attacking half.


goal

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