Author: Lewis Sharpe
Publisher: Y Clwb Pêl Droed
In the absence of regular manager Ryan Giggs, Wales topped their Nations League group to secure promotion in the tournament.
Goals from Harry Wilson, Daniel James and Kieffer Moore gave the hosts all three points on a night that would have been met with celebration had fans been allowed in the ground.
The victory also means Wales edge closer to securing a play-off spot for the World Cup 2022.
Confident James is unstoppable
Somewhat out of form Manchester United winger Daniel James reminded spectators why the Premier League giants brought him in last summer.
His superb long-range effort showed he’s a man oozing with confidence currently.
James also provided from teammate Kieffer Moore with a cross perfect for the striker to attack in the dying stages to put the game to bed.
An all-round excellent performance proved his quality as he continuously posed a threat to the Finland defence.
Pressing game successful for Wales
The hosts immediately came out of the blocks firing as they won the ball back in dangerous areas effectively in the opening moments.
Gareth Bale was incredibly close to breaking the deadlock when he capitalised on a defensive mistake before forcing a save from goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky.
Winning the ball in dangerous areas was made much easier with the pace and work rate of Dan James, Harry Wilson and Gareth Bale.
Finland resurgence after the goal
Despite Teemu Pukki’s goal coming against the run of play, the visitors well and truly dominated for the following 20 minutes.
Finland may feel hard done by. The early red card undoubtedly changed the game and, had they been more clinical in front of goal, could have walked away with a point.
A constant nuisance to the Welsh defence, Norwich City striker Pukki played exceptionally well, scoring his 27th goal for his country and nearly grabbing a late consolation before being denied by the woodwork.
Wales defensively assured with three at the back
The hosts, who started with Joe Rodon, Chris Mepham and James Lawrence as a centre-half partnership looked massively assured.
The team hadn’t conceded a competitive goal in over 700 minutes and were the last team in the whole competition to be scored against.
However, following the half-time change in tactics to replace centre-back Lawrence with striker Kieffer Moore, Finland began finding space in the Welsh defence, and, eventually, caused a shaky 20 minutes.
Ampadu is captain material
The lack of noise from an empty Canton Stand allowed spectators to hear a whole lot more from the players.
20-year-old Ethan Ampadu showcased his leadership, guiding his teammates throughout the 90 minutes.
His old head on young shoulders is a massively promising sign for Wales.
(Featured Image: Lewis Sharpe)