Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. August 14th, 2013. KO: 7:45 PM BST
Referee: P. Kralovec (Cze)
By Joe Cook
Wales and Republic of Ireland played out a goalless draw in a friendly clash, which failed to match the spirit of Cardiff.
West Bromwich Albion striker Shane Long had Ireland’s best chances, but Wales couldn’t find a rhythm to counter. The Welsh outfit evidently missing the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey in midfield.
Chances were hard to come by, creating a below par encounter between these local rivals. The fans sang to lift their teams throughout the night, however a low-key event did little to build the expectation and whet the appetite for the coming football season.
Ireland controlled most of the possession across the course of the game, but failed to find the quality in the final third to trouble Boaz Myhill in the Wales goal. Both defenses have remained untroubled for most of the evening.
Wales and Ireland buoyed by their recent improved exploits in the World Cup 2014 Qualifiers, couldn’t find the breakthrough, leading too much of the Cardiff crowd foreseeing a goalless affair.
Even Wales’s old guard and local Cardiff player Craig Bellamy couldn’t force a winner, with a strong performance down the left flank. Premier League substitutes in the form of Conner Sammon for Ireland and Neil Taylor for Wales couldn’t provide their respective teams with any goal threat.
Ireland almost snatched a late winner with 10 minutes remaining when Madden’s effort saved by Myhill with the ball falling to Mclean on the rebound, but man-of-the-match Welsh skipper Ashley Williams blocked. On the other hand, Wales’s resolute defence recorded their first clean sheet in 12 games.