Wales 3-1 Finland: Giggs's side promoted to Nations League Group A

Wales 3-1 Finland: Caretaker boss Robert Page leads Dragons to Nations League promotion with Harry Wilson, Daniel James and Kieffer Moore on target

  • The visitors were reduced to 10 men after full back Jere Uronen was sent off
  • Harry Wilson broke the deadlock for the hosts in first half from Gareth Bale assist
  • Manchester United’s Daniel James scored a superb goal from outside the box
  • Teemu Pukki pulled goal back for Finland but Kieffer Moore scored Wales’s third

Gareth Bale said he was substituted to stay in Jose Mourinho’s good books after helping Wales move closer to their first World Cup appearance since 1958.

Goals from Harry Wilson, Dan James and substitute Kieffer Moore ensured Wales beat 10-man Finland and finished first in their group, meaning they will compete in League A in the next edition of the Nations League. 

More importantly, the result means they are likely to have a two-leg play-off – if required – to reach Qatar 2022 if they do not qualify directly from their group. 

Kieffer Moore (L) of Wales scores his team’s third goal of the game in the final 10 minutes

Finland goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky (L) reacts as Moore is congratulated by his team-mates

Manchester United’s Daniel James (No 20) scored a sublime goal from long range 

James notched Wales’s second just a minute after the restart on Wednesday evening

Spurs boss Mourinho has been outspoken about the risks to players from this international break and he will have been relieved to see Bale taken off after an hour, with Wales leading 2-0. 

‘It’s taking time [to get back fit], I’m getting there though,’ said Bale. ‘I think being 2-0 up the manager (Rob Page) kept Tottenham happy. It’s a big achievement to go through this campaign unbeaten. It sets the foundations for Euro 2020.’

Teemu Pukki briefly made it 2-1 but the visitors were hampered by the sending-off of defender Jere Uronen with only 12 minutes on the clock, for a foul on Wilson.

Wilson then opened the scoring by firing in Bale’s pass. James made it two just after half-time with a spectacular 25-yarder before Pukki scored the first goal Wales have conceded in nearly 800 minutes of competitive football. Finland pressed hard before Moore headed in James’ cross to seal victory.

Finland’s Teemu Pukki scores his side’s first goal of the game, but it was just a consolation

Wales’s Harry Wilson broke the deadlock against Finland in the 29th minute of the match

Wilson celebrates with his Wales team-mates after scoring the opening goal on Wednesday

Wilson supplied a cool finish to a Gareth Bale assist in the UEFA Nations League encounter

Page revealed he had spoken to boss Ryan Giggs straight after the victory. Giggs stepped aside for this international break after an allegation of assault was made against him, which he denies.

Page added: ‘He is an extremely proud man tonight. I spoke to him straightaway after the game. He is very proud of how all the players have handled the camp.

‘Gareth was excellent but it’s about being sensible, with the way the game was going. We have a great group of players and staff and we have achieved what Ryan started, which is promotion. If you could bottle the feeling in the changing room tonight, you would make millions.’

Finland were down to 10 men after just 12 minutes after full back Jere Uronen was sent off

Wales and Tottenham winger Gareth Bale battles for the ball with Finland’s Rasmus Schuller

Daniel O’Shaughnessy of Finland with volleyed effort during the first half of Nations League tie

Bale tries his luck with a free kick during the opening 45 minutes of Wednesday night’s match




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