Wales 1-0 Belarus – Classy Daniel James gives Wales victory

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By Gareth Vincent
BBC Sport Wales in Cardiff City Stadium
Daniel James’ finish gave Wales victory in their friendly as Ryan Giggs’ staff maintained a fourth consecutive home win.
After joining from Swansea City in the summertime, the winger has made a start to life.
And his team form replicated onto the international platform to hands Wales a deserved triumph.
Giggs had urged his players to build some momentum on Friday following the hard-earned Euro 2020 qualifying victory over Azerbaijan.
They responded with a performance which should have produced a more comfy win – though only 7,666 lovers were there to see it.
From the 10-year history of the Cardiff City Stadium, just one game – the defeat by Australia in 2011 – has attracted a smaller audience.
Gareth Bale insisted entering this game that Wales are currently moving forward beneath Giggs, who has now won seven of his 15 games accountable.
After criticism of Wales’ operation in the win over Azerbaijan, the Real Madrid said Giggs is trying to make a federal side who perform quick, attacking football.
When Azerbaijan sat deep, they fought on this score Friday and Wales made hard work of splitting down .
Despite all the talismanic Bale seeing from the seat prior to the minute, it was a different story against Belarus.
Wales needed only 17 minutes to expose their competitors.
There was a warning for Belarus when Joe Allen led a Welsh fracture and Harry Wilson drove goalwards, early.
Goalkeeper Maksim Plotnikov created a save, but he was helpless that he delivered James and when Jonny Williams was fed up by Joe Morrell.
In what is quickly becoming a signature move, the 15m United signing cut inside on to his right foot before bending the ball inside the far post.
James’ goal was easily the most memorable moment of their first half.
He made way as Wales’ management of the contest continued, with Wilson going close when a short-corner pattern finished coming back off the far post.
Kieffer Moore then headed wide when he seemed certain to score was picked from Wilson before Bale missed.
As Bale pointed out, obviously, the goal is to maintain a place in Euro 2020 – and also what happened here would have little impact on that front.
However, this was a performance and a step in the perfect direction.
Giggs produced five changes to the side which began the Azerbaijan match, together with Ethan Ampadu, Neil Taylor, Wayne Hennessey, Tom Lawrence and Bale.
Came Danny Ward, Jonny Williams Ben Davies and two debutants, Morrell and Moore.
A low-key occasion this game could have been, however Wigan striker Moore and Lincoln’s on-loan Bristol City midfielder Morrell will remember it.
Although Wales was given a bodily presence in assault by the towering Moore morrell was tidy and neat in midfield alongside Allen.
Of people who came into the side, it was when Wales return to aggressive action Williams who created the most powerful case for involvement.
The 25-year-old began on the rear of a fantastic spell in Charlton Athletic for his country for the first time in more than three decades, and he provided the sort of craft on the ball which had been lacking at times against Azerbaijan to Wales.
He is helpful when Wales go to Slovakia and after that face World Cup finalists Croatia on this floor in two pivotal games.
With a little bit of luck Juventus’ Aaron Ramsey is going to be fit to provide his guile to Giggs’ side-by-side too.
Jonny Williams – Making his first Wales start since Euro 2016, the attacking midfielder showed glimpses of his characteristic in a tough display.

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