Giggs hails ‘gritty’ Wales as Moore delivers again
Wales opened their Nations League campaign with a win against fellow Euro 2020 qualifiers Finland in Helsinki. Kieffer Moore struck 10 minutes from time – his third international goal in six games – as he latched on to Daniel James’s inviting cross and rewarded Wales’s superiority at the Olympic Stadium.
The lack of pre-season training was evident and Wales captain Gareth Bale, making his first start since February, lasted only 45 minutes before being withdrawn at half-time. But Wales called the tune for most of the night and deserved a third successive away win.
“I thought it was a really gritty performance, not our usual flowing football, but credit to Finland, who made it difficult for us,” Giggs said. “It is the kind of game we can learn from, but also take a lot of plusses because we dug out the result.
“With a clean sheet, you have always got chances because of the players we have and they produced again, DJ [James] and Kieffer.”
Wales started well and had the ball in the net inside four minutes. James sped down the left and cut back to deliver a cross which Moore headed in, although referee Daniel Siebert had spotted a tug on Leo Vaisanen. James then set up a Bale chance, which was kept out.
The second half started without Bale, and Finland should have
Deserved: Kieffer Moore converts Daniel James’s cross to give Wales an opening win taken the lead when Vaisanen, from two yards out, hit a post.
Neco Williams made his debut on the hour mark, the Liverpool fullback making an impact as Wales finished strongly. They were rewarded when James crossed for Moore to seal the win.