A polished Wales overcame Finland’s stubborn 10 men to win their Nations League group and clinch promotion to the competition’s top flight.
Finland’s Jere Uronen was sent off after only 12 minutes for a foul on Harry Wilson, who then fired Wales in front with a fine low finish after a through ball from Gareth Bale.
Daniel James’ 20-yard firecracker doubled their lead early in the second half, before the Finns hit back with a goal by Teemu Pukki – the first Wales had conceded in more than 12 hours of competitive football.
The visitors had a handful of other chances as they sought an improbable victory which would have seen them win Group B4 but, despite their second-half wobble, Wales were ultimately comfortable victors and put the result beyond doubt with Kieffer Moore’s late header from James’ cross.
Wales can now look forward to a first campaign in the top tier of the Nations League in 2022, which could see them face some of Europe’s leading sides such as France, Spain and Germany.
Winning their group also enhances Wales’ chances of securing a place in the 2022 World Cup qualifying play-offs.
Should they miss out on automatic qualification or a play-off place for the tournament in Qatar, their status as Nations League group winners means they are virtually guaranteed a play-off spot via an alternative route.
More to follow.
- 18LawrenceSubstituted forMooreat 45′minutes
- 15AmpaduBooked at 76mins
- 17Norrington-DaviesSubstituted forGunterat 90+3′minutes
- 20JamesSubstituted forBrooksat 89′minutes
- 10H WilsonSubstituted forRobertsat 89′minutes
- 11BaleSubstituted forLawrenceat 61′minutes
- 3N Williams
- 21Fon Williams
- 15O’ShaughnessySubstituted forHämäläinenat 61′minutes
- 11SchüllerSubstituted forSimonpoika Valakariat 73′minutes
- 16TaylorSubstituted forSoiriat 62′minutes
- 18UronenBooked at 12mins
- 10PukkiSubstituted forForssat 89′minutes
- 14Simonpoika Valakari
- Jesús Gil Manzano
Match ends, Wales 3, Finland 1.
Second Half ends, Wales 3, Finland 1.
Foul by Chris Gunter (Wales).
Nikolai Alho (Finland) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Kieffer Moore (Wales) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Joona Toivio (Finland).
Substitution, Wales. Chris Gunter replaces Rhys Norrington-Davies.
Foul by Chris Mepham (Wales).
Pyry Soiri (Finland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Tom Lawrence (Wales) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Connor Roberts.
Substitution, Finland. Marcus Forss replaces Teemu Pukki.
Substitution, Wales. Tyler Roberts replaces Harry Wilson.
Substitution, Wales. David Brooks replaces Daniel James.
Attempt missed. Kieffer Moore (Wales) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Tom Lawrence.
Daniel James (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Glen Kamara (Finland).
Teemu Pukki (Finland) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the left side of the box. Assisted by Niko Hämäläinen.
Goal! Wales 3, Finland 1. Kieffer Moore (Wales) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Daniel James with a cross.
Corner, Finland. Conceded by Rhys Norrington-Davies.
Corner, Wales. Conceded by Onni Johannes Simonpoika Valakari.