Kick off: 20:06
Sunday, 27th May 2012
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA.
Fixture Type: International Friendly Match
Referee: Ricardo Salazar (USA)
Assistant Referee: Peter Manikowski (USA)
Assistant Referee: CJ Morgante (USA)
4th Official: Jose Carlos Rivero (USA)
Chris Coleman's team battled hard for no reward in New Jersey against Mexico.
In his first match as manager of Wales, Chris was forced to make four changes from the side that lost to Costa Rica in the Gary Speed Memorial match.
Aaron Ramsey Challenges
In goal, Jason Brown was winning only his third cap and he was to become the Wales star of the evening, making save after save to keep the lively Mexicans out. With Darcy Blake one of the absentees in the middle of defence, Chris Gunter moved inside to partner Ashley Williams and he was to have a torrid time, along with the other Wales defenders as Mexico launched attack after attack in the opening twenty minutes down both flanks.
On a warm humid afternoon, the conditions certainly helped the Mexicans, though the newly laid grass pitch helped neither side as it appeared lifeless.
As early as the first minute a chance fell to Mexico but the shot was wide and that set the pattern as Wales tried to settle and Mexico looked to kill the game-off quickly. Steve Moruison was playing as a lone striker with Craig Bellamy behind him, plus captain Aaron Ramsey and Hal Robson-Kanu looking to give support. Joe Allen and David Edwards looked to play deeper in midfield, but Mexico exploited the flanks and the Welsh full backs, Adam Matthews and Neil Taylor had very busy afternoons.
There was a scare for Wales in the 19th minutes when a cross-come-shot from Also De Nigris hit the Wales post, though Brown seem to have it covered. A minute later captain Aaron Ramsey found his name in the book of referee Ricardo Salazar (USA) for a clumsy challenge.
All to often possession was given-away in midfield and there was little chance to relieve the pressure on the Welsh defence, where Ashley Williams was once again having a busy time. After 25 minutes, Wales had a half chance that fell to Hal Robson-Kanu from a good cross from Bellamy. The Reading midfielder's header went well wide however. Ten minutes later two more golden chances slipped through Mexico's hands and it looked as though Wales would go-in at half time on level terms.
Sadly it was not to be, as with 42 minutes gone, centre forward Alodo De Nigris rose at the back post to bravely head past Brown to open the scoring. The pressure from the Mexican wingers had finally paid-off.
Joe Allen Battles
The second half opened with no substitutions and Wales looked keen to try and get back on level terms. Bellamy was well marshalled but always looked to be the key man for the men in red.
Six minutes into the second half the Mexicans went-up a gear once more and had three chances in the space of as many minutes, with Jason Brown once again single-handedly keeping Wales in the game. Manager Chris Coleman took the opportunity to send-on fresh legs up front with Sam Vokes and Simon Church replacing Morison and Robson-Kanu. A third substitution was needed after Adam Matthews injured himself as he slipped on the turf after being beaten to the ball by a Mexican forward. Sam Ricketts came-on to add more experience to an under pressure defence.
Disappointment after Mexico Score
As the second half wore-on Mexico also began to make changes and the tempo of the game dropped. Wales sent-on Andy King for Edwards on 71 minutes to assist in midfield, but the change made little difference - Wales still kept giving the ball away too easily, allowing Mexico to shoot at will.
However, Jason Brown was having an afternoon to remember and he was equal to most of what was thrown at him. This will certainly have helped him to look for promotion from his No.4 goalkeeping position at present, behind Hennessey, Myhill and Price.
With ten minutes to go, Coleman gave a first cap to Ashley 'Jazz' Richards, the young Swansea City defender, who replaced his over worked club mate, Neil Taylor. He fitted-in well and looks one for the future.
Wales certainly looked more mobile with Church and Vokes up front and the evergreen Bellamy behind them, but chances would just not come.
Then, on 89 minutes, De Nigris struck again as a cross came-in and he was able to chest the ball past Brown to make it 2-0. Chris Gunter will have been disappointed that he let his man get-away from him.
Hal Robson-Kanu misses the target.
The whistle blew a few minutes later for the end of the game and few could have disagreed that Mexico were worthy winners on the afternoon.
For Wales and Chris Coleman, there was much learnt on a difficult afternoon when Gareth Bale and Darcy Blake were sorely missed, so too the experience of midfielders Joe Ledley, Andrew Crofts and David Vaughan.
However, the side was not disgraced and with one more friendly fixture to come at the start of next season against Bosnia-Herzegovina, he will feel that a full-strength side can certainly worry most opponents.
The attendance was 35,518, including several hundred well-behaved Welsh fans.