In a triumphant return of international football to Wrexham, Cymru showcased their prowess by defeating Gibraltar in a friendly match at the historic Stok Racecourse.
Despite resting key players for their upcoming Euro 2024 qualifier against Croatia, the Cymru team dominated the game, securing a 4-0 victory.
Cymru took an early lead with captain Ben Davies and Kieffer Moore scoring headers, swiftly followed by Nathan Broadhead’s skillful finish and another header by Moore, bringing the score to 4-0 by halftime. Despite a less eventful second half marked by numerous substitutions, the capacity crowd appreciated the significance of the match, understanding that tougher challenges awaited, especially the vital clash against Croatia.
The fixture held immense importance as it marked the return of men’s international football to Wrexham after a hiatus since 2019, and only the second time in 15 years. Recognizing the inconvenience faced by their northern fans, who usually have to travel long distances to Cardiff City Stadium for matches, Cymru’s decision to play in Wrexham was a heartfelt gesture of gratitude to their loyal supporters.
Captain Davies, leading in the absence of the injured Aaron Ramsey, opened the scoring with a close-range header, followed by Moore’s brilliant header, courtesy of a precise cross by debutant Charlie Savage. Broadhead then added to the tally with a deceptive turn and precise shot, before Moore struck again just before halftime, heading in a cross from Daniel James.
The second half saw Cymru’s flow disrupted due to numerous substitutions, with manager Robert Page keen on safeguarding his players for the crucial fixture against Croatia. Despite the slight disjointedness, the match provided valuable insights for Page and his team, emphasising the importance of managing players’ workloads effectively.
Although Gibraltar proved to be a modest opponent, the match served as a platform for Cymru to express their appreciation for their northern fanbase. The Stok Racecourse, the world’s oldest stadium still hosting international football, witnessed a stellar performance, leaving the fans hopeful for the upcoming challenge against World Cup semi-finalists Croatia. As the spotlight now turns to the Croatia fixture, Cymru remains focused on the ultimate goal: securing a favourable result on Sunday.