De Nigris double sinks Wales
Welsh boss forced to shuffle injury-ridden squad
By Hayley Paterson. Last Updated: May 27, 2012 10:57pm
Aldo De Nigris: Netted two for Mexico in their friendly win over Wales
Aldo De Nigris netted a brace to down Chris Coleman's Wales in a friendly with Mexico in New York.
The newly-appointed boss was forced to shuffle his squad because of absentees including Gareth Bale, Joe Ledley and Darcy Blake as Wales were undone by an Aldo De Nigris brace at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium.
The Monterrey striker pounced to head home from close range on the stroke of half-time after connecting with a delivery from Severo Meza.
The Mexicans, without Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez, still had enough fire-power and continued to press the Welsh defence as Tottenham's Giovani Dos Santos partnered De Nigris up front and were certainly well worthy of their lead.
The opening goal-scorer was then on hand to double Mexico's advantage and add to his tally with an 89th minute finish leaving Coleman's men with little time to respond.
Coleman has now suffered two defeats from two, following a 1-0 reverse to Costa Rica in his first game in charge, since taking over from the late Gary Speed.
Wales might have been a few more down if it was not for the heroics of keeper Jason Brown who made a series of fine saves to deny Dos Santos, Edgar Andrade and Severo Meza.
The Welsh were under immense pressure throughout from Mexico with the likes of Brown, Joe Allen and Ashley Williams having to come to the rescue on several occasions.
It could have been an embarrassing start to Coleman's competitive campaign when in the first 30 seconds, Carlos Salcido picked out De Nigris but the forward fired wastefully wide.
Wales had another warning when a similar chance fell to Dos Santos but makeshift centre-half Chris Gunter recovered from his positional error to force the striker wide and Brown mopped up the rest with the save.
Both sides were being hindered by the slow playing surface in the US with Mexico seeming to fair the better as midfielder Andrade spurned a great opportunity when he was played in by Jesus Navala, blazing over from close range.
Wales' first effort arrived after 25 minutes but Hal Robson-Kanu could not make a meaningful connection on Craig Bellamy's cross and sent his glancing header wide.
Steve Morison then failed to control Bellamy's intelligent cutback as Coleman's side finally showed an attacking threat.
But Mexico still looked the more likely to find an opening and Andrade, whose sharp movement from wide areas was causing Wales major problems, struck an effort over the bar before Dos Santos shot just wide of the near post after another teasing run.
The breakthrough came when Severo Meza's overlapping run allowed him to deliver a perfectly-judged cross that beat Gunter for De Nigris to nod home from inside the six-yard box.
The goal was a hammer blow to Wales as Mexico took their goal advantage into the second-half with Meza forcing Brown into a low save before the keeper made a brilliant stop from Dos Santos' point-blank header.
Hector Moreno came within inches of tapping home captain Francisco Rodriguez's header across the face of goal.
Coleman made a triple substitution on the hour as Sam Vokes, Simon Church and Sam Ricketts replaced Morison, Robson-Kanu and the injured Adam Matthews.
Those tactical changes almost paid dividends as Church linked well with Bellamy, with the Liverpool striker firing narrowly over Jose De Jesus Corona's crossbar.
West Ham's Pablo Barrera volleyed well wide after he had been picked out by substitute Jorge Torres Nilo, while another substitute Angel Reyna was narrowly off target from the edge of the area.
With both sides making a raft of changes the game lost its spark during the final 15 minutes although Wales were still having to survive some anxious moments.
And it was De Nigris who sealed the win in the 89th minute as he intelligently chested home from Andrade's whipped delivery from the left.