Dragons tamed in Nations League clash as Gareth Bale not risked days before crunch World Cup play-off


Wales faced the wrath of the Nations League after a late defeat in Poland – just days before the World Cup play-off final.

Johnny Williams fired off Robert Page’s provisional side 52 minutes before Jakob Kaminski and Karol Swederski secured the win for the hosts in Wrocaw.


Upcoming Poland star Kaminski pops up on scoresheetcredit: EPA
Williams celebrates her goal in a 2-1 loss


Williams celebrates her goal in a 2-1 losscredit: EPA

dragons boss page Captain Gareth Bale as well as rested veteran trio Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen and Ben Davies A look at the play-off final against the winners of Scotland and Ukraine in Cardiff on Wednesday night.

But a second string Welsh outfit held their own for a long period on their first outing in League A of the competition.

Swindon midfielder Williams stunned the Poles when he overtook Kamil Grabara with a 20-yard shot in front of Kamil Grabara.

It was Williams’ second goal for his country on his 32nd cap – his first against Bulgaria in October 2020 – but it was a well-executed effort from outside the penalty box to give the visitors the lead.

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But Poland, hotshot . with Robert Lewandowski In their ranks, hit back.

Kaminski slammed home into the far corner with 18 minutes to go to reach the World Cup final.

Then as Wales looked ready for a draw, teammate Sab Swederski netted from close-range on the 85th minute when Lewandowski’s shot was deflected from stand-in Chris Gunter.

Captain Lewandowski made his debut at Bayern Munich just two days after he made the reveal.

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And the hotshot, who is keen to join Barcelona this summer, forced a smart stop off Danny Ward, down the right flank after Wales’ defensive mix.

But the Dragons rose to the competition as Ipswich debutant Wes Burns saw an effort sweeping.

Dan James Kiefer looked threatened in the attack with Moore and the Leeds Flyers flashing a shot off target.

Wells made three substitutes at the break, with Wayne Hennessy, Mark Harris and Rabbi Matondo introduced for Danny Ward, James and Moore.

Matondo had an impact on the bench and, extending home defense after a lofty run, the forward set up Williams for his own goal.

But it was just as good for Wales, who suffered only their fifth loss in 22 matches under Page, as Poland rallied of late to take an early victory.

Retrieve all of Wednesday’s action below…

  • Attention turns to Hampden Park

    An emotionally charged Hampden Park is ready as Scotland host Ukraine in the semi-finals of the World Cup.

    The winner will take on Wales on Sunday for a place in the tournament.

    You can follow Scotland’s action here:

  • Page talks about debutant Wes Burns:

    I thought he was owed. Today was his debut and I just told the boys: “What a debut”. We’ve gotten him out of nowhere and thrown him in the deep end in a lot of ways, but we’ve been so impressed by him during the week that we thought he was capable of dealing with it.

    Rob PageWales manager

  • The page continues:

    They were the strongest team they could pick and we went toe-to-toe with them, took the lead and looked good for a point. So I have nothing but admiration for him. This is a cruel game.

    Rob PageWales manager

  • Wales manager Rob Page:

    Really proud of them, honestly. We knew it would be a tough test even with our first 11. Unfortunately for us this play-off game is between these Nations League games, which affects our team selection. We knew we were ready for battle.

    Rob PageWales manager

  • Premier Sports Pundit Neil Taylor:

    I’m happy with them, and I’m sure Rob Page will be the same.

    Neil Taylorformer Wales defender

  • clues for sunday

    Kiefer Moore’s departure opened a void that Wales could not fill in the second half.

    Countless crossing opportunities went to waste, with no presence in the middle for the goal.

    Food for thought for Rob Page for the weekend.

  • Impressive start from Burns

    The Ipswich Town debutante looked at home until it was down in the second half.

    For a future as far as Wales is concerned.

  • Poland alternatives save the day

    It certainly wasn’t an evening to remember for Robert Lewandowski, but he was helped by some friends off the bench as Poland began their Nations League campaign to victory.

    They will focus their attention on the upcoming group games with the giants of Holland and Belgium.

  • big fish for frying

    Wales’ rotation has given everyone an idea of ​​where their ambitions lie for this international break, although Rob Page could be more than happy with his side’s performance against one of Europe’s better sides away from home.

  • all the time!

    Wales put up a good fight, but Poland began their Nations League campaign with a 2–1 win over the hosts in the second half!

  • Poland 2-1 Wales

    90+2. Big opportunity for Smith!

    Grabara finds himself in no man’s land from a corner, but the tiniest touch makes things too awkward for Smith to end up on the rebound.

  • Poland 2-1 Wales

    90+1. Here three minutes are added. Will Poland become the first winner of the Nations League this year?

  • Poland 2-1 Wales

    90. Gunter’s effort hit his partner Harris, who was in an offside position.

    The captain’s wait for the international goal continues.

  • Poland 2-1 Wales

    89. Does Wells have anything left in the tank? That goal will blow anyone’s wind.

    Matondo wants to make up for his mistake but he was fouled inside the Poland half.

  • Poland 2-1 Wales

    86. Wow, a comedy of errors takes Poland forward.

    A Matondo backpass is intercepted, Lewandowski’s terrifying effort causes havoc, and the hosts substitute Swiderski to give the lead!

  • aim! Poland take the lead!

    This is a terrible moment for Matondo!

  • Poland 1-1 Wales

    83. A mishit from Zielinski’s boundary is easily dealt with Hennessy.

    In replays, the deflection made things a little more awkward for Burnley Man.

  • Poland 1-1 Wales

    81. Good effort from Neko Williams from the range, but it is over. Promising Liverpool man though.

    Poland makes a positive change, with Grosicki replacing Krichowicz.

  • Poland 1-1 Wales

    79. Wells has another corner, which Thomas takes after getting off the bench.

    There’s no moor to aim for and it’s hurting them, making it go away.

  • Poland 1-1 Wales

    77. Wales goalscorer Williams has been replaced by Thomas of Huddersfield Town.

  • Poland 1-1 Wales

    76. Poland makes some changes as they push for a winner here.

    Puchaz and Buksa have been replaced by Svidarski and Zalevsky.

  • Poland 1-1 Wales

    73. The 19-year-old has got off the bench to level things off.

    A smart touch and finish too cool for an unassuming Hennessy,

    Despite no real pressure, Wells began to go deeper and deeper and was punished.

  • aim! Poland Level it up!

    Kaminsky counterattacked!

  • Poland 0-1 Wales

    71. Wells now finds himself on the move, but the reverse flag ends that attack.

  • Poland 0-1 Wales

    69. Poland’s lack of breadth is bothering them, with things getting too crowded in the middle of the park.

    Wells easily survived another terrible attack.


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