Brennan Johnson bagged his first Cymru goal to grab a glorious UEFA Nations League draw against the world’s second ranked team Belgium.
The young Nottingham Forest striker thought he’d been denied his dramatic 87th minute equaliser when VAR interrupted the Red Wall celebrations. But, after a brief pause, French referee Benoît Bastien awarded the goal, sending the Cardiff City Stadium back into raptures.
The game ended 1-1, which was a fair result, but for another VAR intervention, Cymru could’ve taken all three points. Ethan Ampadu’s fifth minute thunderbolt was cancelled out by the video referee after Joe Rodon’s foot was adjudged to be inches offside.
This precious point keeps Cymru alive in Nations League Group A4, with trips to Netherlands and Belgium to come, before finishing off with what could be a crunch clash against Poland in Cardiff, in September.
But Rob Page’s men were made to work hard, especially either side of half time, as Belgium’s talisman and captain Kevin De Bruyne caused chaos with some sublime work before Youri Tielemans finished a wonderful move on 50 minutes.
But, less than a week on from their glorious World Cup qualification, this courageous Cymru team weren’t to be denied and snatched a draw from Roberto Martinez’ Red Devils, courtesy of Johnson’s cool finish which followed some sensational work from substitute Aaron Ramsey on the edge of the Belgian box.
Now Cymru head to the Netherlands on Tuesday full of confidence as they look to avenge this week’s disappointing defeat against the Dutch and aim to end this wonderful week on another massive high.
But Poland’s 2-2 draw in Amsterdam means Cymru currently sit bottom of the group, with just one point from three games and look like they need a result in Rotterdam.
CYMRU 1-1 BELGIUM
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE – LEAGUE A – GROUP 4
- Saturday, 11 June 2022
- Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
Cymru: Hennessey; Mepham, Rodon, B Davies (Burns 72); C Roberts (Norrington-Davies 61), Allen (Ramsey 38), Ampadu, N Williams; Wilson (Colwill 72); Bale (C) (Johnson 72), James. Subs not used: King, A Davies, Gunter, Smith, J Williams, Harris, Thomas.
Goal: Johnson 86
Yellow cards: Rodon 55, Norrington-Davies 68
Belgium: Casteels; Dendoncker, Boyata, Theate; Meunier, Tielemans, Witsel (Openda 90+2), Carrasco (T Hazard 61); De Bruyne (C) (E Hazard 72), Batshuayi, Trossard (Praet 72). Subs not used: Sels, Mignolet, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Januzaj, Vanaken, Castagne, Saelemaekers.
Goal: Tielemans 51
Yellow cards: Carrasco 45+1, Theate 61
Referee: Benoit Jean Bastien