Wales were thankful for an efficient first-half display that yielded two goals as they denied San Marino their first points in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying Group D.
The visitors dominated the first period and goals from Robert Earnshaw and Joe Ledley put them in control. However, Andy Selva's free-kick after the interval ensured San Marino were in the game until the end, despite being reduced to ten men by Nicola Albani's late dismissal.
With San Marino sitting deep early on, the onus was on Wales to create and they did so in the 13th minute when Simon Davies found Craig Bellamy in the box and he produced a stinging shot that Aldo Simoncini repelled. A minute later, Wales were ahead: Gareth Bale released Bellamy and his quick pass gave Earnshaw the chance to turn and fire in off Simoncini's legs.
Ledley saw an effort tipped over by Simoncini before Wales got their second goal in the 36th minute. Davies and Bellamy linked well to cut into the box and present Ledley with a far post tap-in – his first international goal. San Marino had to wait until after the break for their first opening when a free-kick from Selva was saved by Lewis Price as it dipped towards the foot of a post.
Price was in action again with another stooping stop, this time from Carlo Valentini, before Selva's clever free-kick halved the deficit. San Marino pushed for an equaliser yet their hopes dwindled when Albani, who had already been booked for a foul on Bellamy, was shown the red card on 85 minutes for a deliberate handball.