“Being part of this team is like a family” said Neco Williams after scoring his first international goal to seal the three points for Cymru against Bulgaria in Cardiff.
Cymru 1-0 Bulgaria
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE
- Sunday, 6 September 2020
- Cardiff City Stadium
Ryan Giggs made two changes to the side that beat Finland 1-0 In Helsinki on Thursday, bringing in David Brooks and Matt Smith for their first Cymru starts in more than a year.
The first half was a slow affair with very few chances for either side, acknowledged by captain Gareth Bale after the match. “We weren’t good enough in the first half we were sloppy. We had a chat at half time to pick up the pace and we did better in the second half.”
After only one shot in the first half, the increase in urgency was apparent after the break, as Smith and Joe Morrell tried to find a gap through a sitting Bulgarian side. David Brooks came close to scoring on his return as a deft touch allowed the space for a volley, which rattled the corner of the woodwork.
The second half marked the return of Hal Robson-Kanu, for his first match under Ryan Giggs, but even the UEFA Euro 2016 hero failed to find a breakthrough. With the game looking like it was heading for a stalemate, the deadlock was finally broken in the form of substitute right back Neco Williams in the last minute. A compose headed finish by Williams was the end product of 20+ Cymru passes and a precise cross to the far post by Jonny Williams.
My first goal for the country is a proud moment for me and my family, a day I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
Ryan Giggs acknowledged that it was a difficult afternoon in Cardiff. "It wasn’t easy today. We played two teams that are already into their domestic season but our best move of the match resulted in the only goal. Neco has bought a new energy to the group and I’m delighted that he got the goal."
The win extends Cymru’s unbeaten run to eight games with Ryan Giggs’ side sitting on top of their Nations League group with two wins. Cymru will now look ahead to three away matches in October where they will face England in a friendly followed by the Republic of Ireland and Bulgaria in the UEFA Nations League.
CYMRU: Hennessey; C Roberts (N Williams 65'), Ampadu, Lockyer, B Davies; Smith, Morrell; Bale (C), Brooks (J Williams 76'), James; Moore (Robson-Kanu 61'). Subs not used: Ward, A Davies, Gunter, J Lawrence, Cabango, Levitt, Wilson, Matondo, Vaulks.
Yellow cards: Smith 61', N Williams 86'
Goal: N Williams 90+5'
BULGARIA: Georgiev; Goranov, Dimitrov, Kostadinov, Nedelev (Krastev 82'), Kraev (Iliev 61'), Karabelyov, Nedyalkov, Karagaren, Ivanov (Delev 70') Subs not used: Mihaylov, Lukov, S Popov, V Popov, Rabotov, Galabov, Kovachev, Isa, Iliev, Tsvetkov
Yellow cards: Kostadinov 43'
Referee: Fabio Verissimo