Serbia 6 Wales 1 – Woeful Wales' World Cup dream in tatters

WALES' World Cup aspirations lie in tatters after an inept display at the Karadjordje Stadium saw them roundly thumped by Serbia.

Woeful defending played a major part in Wales' heaviest defeat since 1996 and Aleksandar Kolarov and Zoran Tosic had the hosts 2-0 up inside 25 minutes.

Gareth Bale gave Wales hope with a stunning free-kick but Filip Djuricic got a third for the hosts before the break and Dusan Tadic, Branislav Ivanovic and Miralem Sulejmani completed the rout.

The hope that this generation of Wales players were ready to end a run of having not reached a World Cup finals since 1958 had flourished under the stewardship of the late Gary Speed.

But since his death Wales have lost five in a row and the dispiriting manner of this defeat suggests the wait will extend beyond the end of this campaign.

Chris Coleman had said there were positives to take from Friday's 2-0 defeat to Belgium but there were none on offer here.

The manager praised the defensive display last Friday but it was a string of errors at the back that did for the visitors this time round.

There had been early warning signs when Adam Matthews was in the right place keep out a free header from Matija Nastasic, before Darcy Blake came close to putting through his own net with a sliced clearance.

And it was no surprise when Wales fell behind after 15 minutes.

Chelsea's Ivanovic won a soft free-kick out of Simon Church on the right edge of the area and Kolarov, who had been critical of Wales in the build-up to the game, stepped up to curl a left-footed effort over the wall and beyond Boaz Myhill, who was slow to react to the strike.

The deficit doubled in the 24th minute, with Kolarov this time the creator amidst comedy defending.

The left-back looked to have been stopped by Ashley Williams but he slipped away from the centre-half and Chris Gunter to get away a shot from near the byline. Myhill blocked that effort but Tosic had the simple task of converting the follow-up.

It would have been worse for Wales had Gunter not blocked Tadic's goalbound effort, with the visitors looking vulnerable almost every time the hosts came forward.

Bale gave them a lifeline just after the half-hour mark as he picked himself up after being fouled by Milan Bisevac to thump home a superb swerving free-kick from almost 30 yards.

It was the first goal of Coleman's stint in charge but Wales' defensive frailties resurfaced to undermine their attempt at a recovery as Blake's awful defensive header allowed Tadic to play in Djuricic, who went round Matthews and fired high into Myhill's net.

Coleman withdrew Matthews, who had endured a torrid time up against Tadic and Tosic, and David Edwards for Sam Ricketts and David Vaughan at the break but it made little difference.

Tadic struck the fourth in the 55th minute, Ivanovic dispossessing Bale and beating Ricketts down the right before sliding the ball across to give Tadic a simple finish.

Wales were once again guilty of making problems for themselves when it came to the fifth goal.

Blake surrendered possession on the edge of his own area and home skipper Ivanovic capitalised to slide a right-footed effort into the bottom corner.

Substitute Sulejmani then rounded off the scoring as his deflected strike looped in over Myhill.

The goal made this Wales' worst result since the 7-1 loss to Holland under Bobby Gould in 1996, on the most miserable of nights for the visitors.

Comments (8)

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1:46am Wed 12 Sep 12

Newport Dave says...

Why bother? Surely the embarrassment is too much for these guys to deal with.
Why bother? Surely the embarrassment is too much for these guys to deal with. Newport Dave
  • Score: 0

7:01am Wed 12 Sep 12

the dork says...

WE must overlook the fact that Serbia with over 7 million population is a much bigger courtry than Wales The lads donewell
WE must overlook the fact that Serbia with over 7 million population is a much bigger courtry than Wales The lads donewell the dork
  • Score: 0

7:58am Wed 12 Sep 12

Cymru Am Beth says...

What planet are you on dork?
It seems tht we have returned abruptly to the 'Toshack years'.
Newport County could have beaten Wales last night.
All those wonderful performances under Gary Speed are now a thing of the past.
If they carry on like this, I can't see Coleman lasting the month out.
What planet are you on dork? It seems tht we have returned abruptly to the 'Toshack years'. Newport County could have beaten Wales last night. All those wonderful performances under Gary Speed are now a thing of the past. If they carry on like this, I can't see Coleman lasting the month out. Cymru Am Beth
  • Score: 0

8:53am Wed 12 Sep 12

micker says...

First qualifying game it's the fault of the referee, this time it's the fault of the players, who is Mr Coleman going to blame next?

The buck stops with him and the sooner he realises this and stops blaming others the better manager he will be.
First qualifying game it's the fault of the referee, this time it's the fault of the players, who is Mr Coleman going to blame next? The buck stops with him and the sooner he realises this and stops blaming others the better manager he will be. micker
  • Score: 0

1:06pm Wed 12 Sep 12

Euwan Usami says...

When are we gonna finally get the idea that we are not a footballing country? We just don't have the population to generate the players. I am in my late forties and apart from the odd star, cannot recall Wales being anything but depressingly below average. I know the passionate football supporters will slate me for saying it but we are minoes in the world game. Get used to it. (I am a Dragons rugby supporter so I know what expecting the worse means lol).
When are we gonna finally get the idea that we are not a footballing country? We just don't have the population to generate the players. I am in my late forties and apart from the odd star, cannot recall Wales being anything but depressingly below average. I know the passionate football supporters will slate me for saying it but we are minoes in the world game. Get used to it. (I am a Dragons rugby supporter so I know what expecting the worse means lol). Euwan Usami
  • Score: 0

5:24pm Wed 12 Sep 12

the dork says...

I fink I am on planet reality. we are a very small countrywhere soccer is our second choice winter sport. Serbia has nearly3 times our population! We only have two big teams and they are choc full of foreigners stopping us bringing on welsh lads.. well done the lads.
I fink I am on planet reality. we are a very small countrywhere soccer is our second choice winter sport. Serbia has nearly3 times our population! We only have two big teams and they are choc full of foreigners stopping us bringing on welsh lads.. well done the lads. the dork
  • Score: 0

10:24pm Wed 12 Sep 12

Welshman76 says...

Under Speed, Wales were the most improved team rising through the rankings. Same players but new manager and we are heading in the opposite direction!! Mmmmmmm wonder what the issue might be?!
Under Speed, Wales were the most improved team rising through the rankings. Same players but new manager and we are heading in the opposite direction!! Mmmmmmm wonder what the issue might be?! Welshman76
  • Score: 0

9:15am Thu 13 Sep 12

Cymru Am Beth says...

Welshman76 wrote:
Under Speed, Wales were the most improved team rising through the rankings. Same players but new manager and we are heading in the opposite direction!! Mmmmmmm wonder what the issue might be?!
Agree.
Perhaps they are not interested in playing for Coleman.
I have not got the answer, but we will have to come up with something soon or the manager will have to be replaced.
[quote][p][bold]Welshman76[/bold] wrote: Under Speed, Wales were the most improved team rising through the rankings. Same players but new manager and we are heading in the opposite direction!! Mmmmmmm wonder what the issue might be?![/p][/quote]Agree. Perhaps they are not interested in playing for Coleman. I have not got the answer, but we will have to come up with something soon or the manager will have to be replaced. Cymru Am Beth
  • Score: 0

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