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Wales go from strength to strength

Published: Saturday 29 March 2003, 22.57CET
Wales 4-0 Azerbaijan Wales's biggest win in seven years consolidates their position at the top of Group 9.

Match statistics

WalesAzerbaijan

Goals scored4
 
0
Yellow cards0
3
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

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

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Saturday 29 March 2003, 22.57CET

Wales go from strength to strength

Wales 4-0 Azerbaijan Wales's biggest win in seven years consolidates their position at the top of Group 9.

Wales recorded their biggest win at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to move five points clear at the top of UEFA EURO 2004™ Group 9.

Giggs on song
Two goals in four minutes just before half-time put the game beyond Azerbaijan as Manchester United FC's Ryan Giggs turned in a five-star performance in his 40th Welsh appearance. His eighth goal for Wales early in the second half completed the rout leaving the Azerbaijanis marooned at the foot of the group table with just one point.

'Long way to go'
"We've made a good start but there's still a long way to go," said coach Mark Hughes, who added: "Some people may be saying we've got one foot in the Algarve but we're not talking in those terms yet."

Surprise selection
Hughes sprung a surprise before kick-off by picking Simon Davies at right-back in place of the injured Mark Delaney and including John Oster in midfield for his first start since September 1999.

Lightning start
Wales made a sensational start by scoring after 15 seconds. Robbie Savage intercepted a poor pass out of defence and sent Giggs away down the left. His cross reached Craig Bellamy at the far post and he bundled the ball into the net via goalkeeper Jahangir Hasanzade to register his sixth goal for Wales.

Guliyev denies Melville
Wales almost doubled their lead in the 33rd minute when only a smart Emin Guliyev interception stopped Andy Melville heading in Bellamy's far-post cross. Hartson was then foiled by a sprawling save by Hasanzade, who also kept out a weak Giggs effort, but Welsh pressure told soon enough.

Hartson's tenth goal
A short corner by Oster led to Mark Pembridge crossing from the right for Gary Speed to head in at the far post in the 40th minute. Then, a minute from the break, Giggs crossed from the left for the unmarked Hartson to deftly control the ball and then smash an unstoppable right-foot drive from six metres. It was the Celtic FC striker's tenth goal in 35 games for Wales.

Hughes 'very pleased'
Of the first half, Hughes said: "It was the perfect start to score after 15 seconds. It got us off on the front foot, which is what we wanted to do. I was very pleased with the goals from Gary Speed and John Hartson. They came at a good time and once the third went in the game was effectively over."

Giggs scores
Having made two of the three Wales goals, Giggs slotted their fourth with a precise left-foot shot from nine metres after being put through by substitute Carl Robinson seven minutes after the break.

Jones denies Musayev
A snapshot by Ruslan Musayev from the edge of the area in the 53rd minute almost brought the Azeris a consolation goal but goalkeeper Paul Jones tipped his volley on to the bar and the ball was cleared.

Savage injury
"Our energy levels dropped a little bit in the second half," admitted Hughes, who lost both Speed and Savage to groin and ankle injuries respectively before the break. In Savage's case an x-ray confirmed he had damaged ankle ligaments and will be out for two or three weeks.

Last updated: 30/03/03 0.59CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2004/matches/round=1579/match=69263/postmatch/report/index.html#wales+from+strength

Lineups

Wales

Wales

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

1
Paul JonesPaul Jones
12
HasanzadeJahangir Hasanzade
2
OsterJohn Oster
4
AkhmedovTarlan Akhmedov (C)
3
SpeedGary Speed
Goal40
Substitution45
5
E. GuliyevEmin Guliyev
Substitution46
4
MelvilleAndy Melville
6
K. GuliyevKamal Guliyev
5
PageRob Page
7
M.GurbanovMakhmud Gurbanov
Yellow Card68
6
PembridgeMark Pembridge
8
Ramiz MammadovRamiz Mammadov
Yellow Card38
7
SavageRobbie Savage
Substitution19
9
Gurban GurbanovGurban Gurbanov
8
BellamyCraig Bellamy
Substitution71
10
ImamaliyevEmin Imamaliyev
9
HartsonJohn Hartson
Goal43
15
HajievAftandil Hajiev
Substitution46
10
DaviesSimon Davies
Goal1
17
AliyevSamir Aliyev
Substitution78
11
GiggsRyan Giggs
Goal52
18
Ruslan MusayevRuslan Musayev

Substitutes

21
WardDarren Ward
1
MahammadovHuseyn Mahammadov
12
EdwardsRobert Edwards
Substitution71
2
F. MamedovFizuli Mamedov
Substitution46
Yellow Card46
14
RobinsonCarl Robinson
Substitution19
11
TagizadeZaur Tagizade
Substitution78
16
TrollopePaul Trollope
Substitution45
13
YadullayevIlham Yadullayev
Substitution46
15
BlakeNathan Blake
14
ZeynalovZeynal Zeynalov
17
TaylorGareth Taylor
19
MammadovKhagani Mammadov
18
EarnshawRob Earnshaw
20
Samir MusaevSamir Musaev

Coach

Mark Hughes (WAL) Asgar Abdullayev (AZE)

Referee

Philippe Leuba (SUI)

Assistant referees

Stéphane Cuhat (SUI), Armand Barraud (SUI)

Fourth official

Florian Etter (SUI)

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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