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Wales continue winning streak

Published: Thursday 21 November 2002, 0.30CET
Azerbaijan 0-2 Wales On-form Wales go five points clear at the top of Group 9.

Match statistics

AzerbaijanWales

Goals scored0
2
Yellow cards1
 
0
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:56 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Thursday 21 November 2002, 0.30CET

Wales continue winning streak

Azerbaijan 0-2 Wales On-form Wales go five points clear at the top of Group 9.

Azebaijan 0-2 Wales
Wales are five points clear at the top of UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying Group 9 after a comfortable win against Azerbaijan in Baku.

Full of confidence
Having already beaten Finland and Italy in their opening qualifiers, Wales travelled to Azerbaijan without midfield player Robbie Savage and forward Craig Bellamy, but full of confidence after their best start to a qualifying campaign for a decade.

Aliyev close
The home side began brightly, though, and Gurban Gurbanov and Samir Aliyev had early opportunities. Aliyev was closest on four minutes when he saw a shot deflected just past the post.

Speed on target
But it was Wales who took the lead in the ninth minute after winning a corner when Azerbaijani goalkeeper Djakhangir Gasanzade saved excellently from Ryan Giggs. Simon Davies took the kick, and Welsh captain Gary Speed was on hand to head in.

Hartson hits crossbar
Visiting goalkeeper Paul Jones then did well to save an Aliyev effort, but John Hartson was unlucky not to double Wales' lead in the 28th minute when he was first to another Davies corner, only to see his shot hit the crossbar.

Lead doubled
The second half saw Azerbaijan again take the game to their opponents, Gurbanov slicing wide on 54 minutes. Wales then gradually took control of the game, and effectively sealed the match on 67 minutes, when Hartson was fouled by Fizuli Mamedov, and was then on hand to head in the resultant free-kick from Davies.

Jones save
Gurbanov and substitute Farukh Ismaylov both had chances to pull one back for Azerbaijan, the latter seeing a shot saved by Jones with nine minutes remaining, but Wales held on.

Suspension hits hard
Caretaker Azerbaijan coach Asker Abdullayef, who succeeded Vagif Sadygof in October, admitted that the six-month long suspension of domestic football in his nation had contributed to his team's third defeat in three qualifiers.

Resignation threat
"It is impossible to play against such a strong European team when we have no domestic league," he said. "If the dispute is not resolved, I will resign as my predecessor did a month ago."

Hughes praise
Welsh manager Mark Hughes said: "I am happy with the result and the performance shown. Wales have a really strong team, maybe the strongest ever."

Sympathy for hosts
But Hughes did have sympathy for his opponents' plight. "I understand the coach's situation as it is impossible to prepare the team without any domestic competition and also there are very few players who have played abroad in the Azeri squad," Hughes said.

Last updated: 21/11/02 14.26CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2004/matches/round=1579/match=69261/postmatch/report/index.html#wales+continue+winning+streak

Lineups

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

Wales

Wales

1
HasanzadeJahangir Hasanzade (GK)
1
Paul JonesPaul Jones (GK)
2
NiftalievAdaim Niftaliev
2
DelaneyMark Delaney
Substitution71
3
A. KerimovAslan Kerimov
Substitution46
3
BarnardDarren Barnard
4
AkhmedovTarlan Akhmedov (C)
Substitution75
4
MelvilleAndy Melville
5
ImamaliyevEmin Imamaliyev
5
PageRob Page
6
YadullayevIlham Yadullayev
6
SpeedGary Speed (C)
Goal10
7
M.GurbanovMakhmud Gurbanov
7
RobinsonCarl Robinson
Substitution90+2
8
R. F. SadygovRashad F. Sadygov
Yellow Card32
8
EarnshawRob Earnshaw
Substitution90
9
Gurban GurbanovGurban Gurbanov
9
HartsonJohn Hartson
10
VasilyevVadim Vasilyev
10
DaviesSimon Davies
11
AliyevSamir Aliyev
11
GiggsRyan Giggs

Substitutes

12
MahammadovHuseyn Mahammadov (GK)
21
CrossleyMark Crossley (GK)
15
AsadovArif Asadov
Substitution75
15
WestonRhys Weston
Substitution71
16
IsmaylovFarrukh Ismaylov
16
TrollopePaul Trollope
Substitution90+2
17
F. MamedovFizuli Mamedov
Substitution46
18
RobertsNeil Roberts
13
Ruslan MusayevRuslan Musayev
12
EvansPaul Evans
14
Elshan GambarovElshan Gambarov
14
ThomasJames Thomas
18
A. MammedovAzer Mammedov
17
WilliamsAdrian Williams

Coach

Asgar Abdullayev (AZE) Mark Hughes (WAL)

Referee

Luc Huyghe (BEL)

Assistant referees

Roland Van Nylen (BEL), Mark Simons (BEL)

Fourth official

Serge Gumienny (BEL)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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