International friendly: Wales play out 1-1 draw with Finland after late Riku Riski equaliser
Wales conceded a late equaliser as they were pegged back to 1-1 by Finland in their friendly in Cardiff.
Last Updated: 17/11/13 12:36pm
It looked like manager Chris Coleman would be able to celebrate the new deal he signed on Friday with a victory when Andy King nodded home the opening goal of the game after 58 minutes.
However, Riku Riski struck in stoppage-time to salvage a draw for Finland after being played in by Roman Eremenko.
King was only playing after Aaron Ramsey came down with flu, which meant that Coleman was once again unable to field the in-form Arsenal man and Real Madrid's Gareth Bale in the same side. Indeed the pair have played 90 minutes together on only three occasions in Coleman's 15-game tenure.
Bale was heavily involved during the opening few minutes of a forgettable opening half, pulling up after a challenge from Jere Uronen, and was then left clutching his ankle after a poor tackle from the same player.
To the relief of the hosts he recovered to play on, but there was little sign of the home side making an impact on proceedings and they were lucky not to fall behind in the 15th minute.
Teemu Pukki twisted and turned in the area to work a bit of room and beat Wayne Hennessey, only for the far post to deny him a fine goal.
Wales' unimpressive start was summed up when Bale cut in from the right and sent his shot out for a throw on the far side.
A whipped set-piece delivery from the Real Madrid man did at least set up the Dragons' first effort on target as his free-kick picked out Hal Robson-Kanu, whose header was saved well by Lukas Hradecky.
That was the high point of an instantly forgettable 45 minutes, but Wales were brighter after the break and could have had a penalty eight minutes into the second half. Simon Church was played through on goal and appeared to be felled by Finnish substitute Joona Toivio, but referee Sebastien Delferiere summoned the striker to his feet.
Bale then produced a surging run and powerful shot which Hradecky parried to safety as Wales enjoyed a decent spell.
And they took the lead just before the hour. Joe Ledley, winning his 50th cap, and Robson-Kanu exchanged passes and the latter's cross saw King head home his second international goal from close range.
Finland almost found an instant response but Hennessey reacted quickly to push away Riski's shot and Wales were soon back on the offensive with King narrowly failing to connect with Chris Gunter's fizzing ball across the box.
Riski then shot tamely wide after a raking pass had found him in space at the far post, while at the other end Bale put a low effort narrowly wide after again cutting in purposefully.
Wales also survived a few nervy moments at set-pieces during the closing stages but Hennessey was beaten in stoppage time as Eremenko's ball saw Riski race between two defenders to keep his nerve and earn Finland a draw.
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|3||Shots on Target||3|
|4||Shots off Target||7|
|52.5||1st Half Poss.||47.5|
|49.5||2nd Half Poss.||50.5|