I have to admit that the build-up to this game wasn’t promising. After a 5-1 home reverse to Slovakia on Saturday, this really was a must-win game. But, like Richard and Phil from my office, I had a gnawing feeling that it could be a disaster. Fortunately I was wrong.
Wales started brightly in a muted atmosphere. 20,000+ people in a regular-sized stadium would be quite a crowd. But in the echoing heights of the Millennium Stadium, it felt like there was no one there.
The score at half time was 2-0 to Cymru, but the biggest cheer of the night was reserved for the announcement that England had slumped to the same scoreline in Zagreb. Craig Bellamy scored his first goal as captain to put the Welsh three goals to the good, but then they got cocky and started passing the ball across the back line. It didn’t take long for the Cypriots to win the ball and score a decent goal to get themselves back in it.
Wales had a number of other good chances, including a penalty appeal, and hit the post twice, but 3-1 was a fair result, and a result they needed. Next up – a friendly against footballing superpower Liechtenstein (a country that shares an unlikely connection with Uzbekistan), at the Racecourse in Wrexham. I doubt I’ll bother with that one.