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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Cardiff City Stadium 11th October 2013 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: Suren Baliyan

Wales Wales vs Macedonia Macedonia

Wales 1

S Church (67)

ft

Macedonia 0

World Cup: Wales beat Macedonia 1-0 to climb off foot of Group A

Last Updated: 11/10/13 10:44pm

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Simon Church scored a second-half winner as Wales climbed off the foot of Group A by beating Macedonia 1-0 in Cardiff.

After a goalless first period, Chris Coleman's side twice hit the crossbar via David Vaughan and debutant Declan John.

The hosts got the breakthrough on 67 minutes when Craig Bellamy, playing his last home game for Wales, crossed for Church to slot home.

Aaron Ramsey was then fouled by Nikolce Noveski in the box but saw his subsequent penalty saved by Tome Pacovski as Wales held on to win and climb off the foot of the table and into fourth.

Injury-hit Wales, missing 11 players from Coleman's initial squad selection, ground out a first win in five games.

The storm clouds have been gathering around Coleman following back-to-back defeats against the Macedonians and Serbia last month, and discussions over his two-year contract extension had stalled with Football Association of Wales chiefs wanting to wait for the Dragons to finish the campaign.

Coleman has appeared increasingly alienated from his employers, and he has called for them to give him their full backing while revealing they have asked him to make alterations to his backroom staff.

But his patchwork side produced a creditable performance, after a slow start, to alleviate some of the pressure on him.

Meaningful surge

Ramsey made their first meaningful surge as his cross evaded Church, while Mirko Ivanoski chipped over after a surging run from a rapid Macedonia counter.

Ramsey was always likely to be Wales' key man, and he was central to all their best moments. Another lovely run and pass from the Arsenal man found Neil Taylor cutting in onto his left foot, but Pacovski held his shot.

Ramsey then teed up Andy King, who flicked an effort goalwards to be palmed away by Pacovski.

But Wales really should have been behind two minutes later when they failed to clear a Macedonia corner.

The hoist back into the box fell to Noveski, the defender rounded Wayne Hennessey, winning his first cap for almost two years, but could only scoop his strike well over the bar.

Wales responded with an excellent attack but Church could not get his header on target from John's superb cross, and Hal Robson-Kanu had a strong penalty shout waved away after a clumsy tackle by Ezgjan Alioski.

Bellamy, who was having a quiet game, sprang to life with a rasping drive that Pacovski held at the second attempt, before a deflected Church shot landed on the roof of his net.

Struck woodwork

Vaughan and John struck the woodwork in quick succession at the start of the second half before Wales finally finished one of their chances in the 67th minute.

Ramsey's perfect pass to Bellamy saw the Cardiff man tee up Church for an easy finish to make it 1-0.

Bellamy could have doubled the lead after more marvellous play by Ramsey, but did not have the legs to evade the covering defenders.

Macedonia had been on the back foot but they would have levelled in the 71st minute had it not been for a sharp Hennessey stop, after Goran Pandev had been given an age to turn and pick his spot.

Wales were guilty of trying to sit on their lead but succeeded only in inviting pressure, and Hennessey had to be alert again when Agim Ibraimi snuck in at the far post.

But the hosts should have doubled their lead when Ramsey was brought down in the box by Noveski.

The midfielder appeared to speak with the retiring Bellamy about who should take the spot-kick, but assumed the responsibility and saw his effort saved by Pacovski.

However, it did not matter as Wales came through some nervy final moments to secure a much-needed win for Coleman.



WalesTeam StatisticsMacedonia
1Goals0
01st Half Goals0
5Shots on Target4
2Shots off Target9
3Blocked Shots1
8Corners5
11Fouls11
1Offsides3
3Yellow Cards1
0Red Cards0
84.4Passing Success84.5
18Tackles18
83.3Tackles Success72.2
50Possession50
48.9Territorial Advantage51.1
403Total Passes419
24Total Crosses17
115Lost Balls122
48Recoveries33
50.11st Half Poss.49.9
47.72nd Half Poss.52.3

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Matches

  • FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

    Fri 11th Oct - Group B
    Fri 11th Oct - Group G
    Fri 11th Oct - Group A
    Fri 11th Oct - Group F
    Fri 11th Oct - Group H
    Fri 11th Oct - Group C
    • Faroe Islands
      1 - 1
      Kazakhstan
      bet
      TV
    • Sweden
      2 - 1
      Austria
      bet
      TV
    • Germany
      3 - 0
      Rep Ireland
      bet
      TV
    Fri 11th Oct - Group E
    Fri 11th Oct - Group D
    Fri 11th Oct - Group I

Tables

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Belgium 10 26
2 Croatia 10 17
3 Serbia 10 14
4 Scotland 10 11
5 Wales 10 10
6 Macedonia 10 7

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 22
2 Denmark 10 16
3 Czech Republic 10 15
4 Bulgaria 10 13
5 Armenia 10 13
6 Malta 10 3

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 28
2 Sweden 10 20
3 Austria 10 17
4 Republic of Ireland 10 14
5 Kazakhstan 10 5
6 Faroe Islands 10 1

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 28
2 Romania 10 19
3 Hungary 10 17
4 Turkey 10 16
5 Estonia 10 7
6 Andorra 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Switzerland 10 24
2 Iceland 10 17
3 Slovenia 10 15
4 Norway 10 12
5 Albania 10 11
6 Cyprus 10 5

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 22
2 Portugal 10 21
3 Israel 10 14
4 Azerbaijan 10 9
5 Northern Ireland 10 7
6 Luxembourg 10 6

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bosnia 10 25
2 Greece 10 25
3 Slovakia 10 13
4 Lithuania 10 11
5 Latvia 10 8
6 Liechtenstein 10 2

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 10 22
2 Ukraine 10 21
3 Montenegro 10 15
4 Poland 10 13
5 Moldova 10 11
6 San Marino 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 20
2 France 8 17
3 Finland 8 9
4 Georgia 8 5
5 Belarus 8 4

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