Wales 0-1 Uruguay: Edinson Cavani nets winner to clinch China Cup
Last Updated: 26/03/18 5:06pm
Edinson Cavani struck a second-half winner for Uruguay on his 100th cap as Wales were edged out 1-0 in the China Cup final.
Wales beat China 6-0 on Thursday to reach the four-team friendly tournament final but were outclassed by the South Americans.
Luis Suarez had already hit the post twice before Cavani finished from close range on 49 minutes as a Wales team that included Gareth Bale rarely looked capable of drawing level.
Uruguay were using the China Cup to prepare for the 2018 World Cup in which they will face hosts Russia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia and this was manager Oscar Tabarez's 185th game at the helm.
Wales: Hennessey (6), Gunter (5), Chester (5), Williams (7), Davies (6), King (6), Allen (6), John (6), Wilson (6), Bale (6), Vokes (5).
Subs: Lockyer (6), Hedges (6), Mathews (6), Roberts (6), Evans (7), Bodin (6)
Uruguay: Muslera (8), Varela (7), Godin (8), Gimenez (6), Laxalt (7), Nandez (7), Bentancur (7), Vecino (7), C.Rodriguez (7), Suarez (7), Cavani (8)
Subs: Coates (7), Stuani (6), Silva (6), Torreria (7), Gomez (6)
Man of the match: Edinson Cavani
Suarez took just three minutes to signal Uruguay's intent when finding space in the box but reversing a low effort back off the post before missing an even easier opportunity on 31 minutes.
The Barcelona man took advantage of a defensive slip and raced through on goal, taking the ball around Wayne Hennessey but planting his effort from a tight angle back off the upright.
Wales tested goalkeeper Fernando Muslera with some long-range efforts but their best chance fell to Bale on 45 minutes when his flicked header was palmed clear by the Uruguay stopper.
The winning goal came four minutes after the break when Cavani thumped home from close range after Cristian Rodriguez had burst in behind James Chester.
Wales kept the same team that demolished China with Gareth Bale amongst the starters along with Liverpool youngster Harry Wilson. Meanwhile, Cristian Rodriguez replaced Giorgian De Arrascaeta in Uruguay’s only change while Edinson Cavani won his 100th cap for his country.
Ryan Giggs - on his second game in charge - handed debuts to Preston youngster Billy Bodin and Bristol Rovers defender Tom Lockyer as Wales searched for a leveller.
However, their lack of strength in depth showed and as Bale tired, so did their ability to create chances which led to Uruguay seeing out the game comfortably.
- Wales have won one of their 16 matches against South American opponents in their history, a 1-0 win over Brazil in September 1991 under the management of Terry Yorath; they have drawn four and lost 11 of their other matches.
- Indeed, since that victory against Brazil, Wales have scored just one goal in seven games against South American sides (D2 L5).
- Uruguay have lost just one of their last eight International matches (W4 D3), keeping clean sheets in both China Cup games.
- Ashley Williams made his 78th international appearance for Wales - he is now level with Craig Bellamy - the only outfield players to have more caps are Gary Speed (85) and Chris Gunter (87).
Wales' next friendly match is against Mexico in California on May 28 while Uzbekistan are Uruguay's final non-competitive match in May before they take on Egypt on June 15 at the World Cup in Russia.
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