Scotland’s Rio hopes diminished as Wales have the last word
Wales' Aaron Ramsey scores from the penalty spot at Hampden Park.
Date: 22 March, 2013
Venue: Hampden Park
Wales came from behind to beat Scotland in their 2014 World Cup qualifier at a blizzard-bound Hampden Park as both sides ended the game with 10 men.
Grant Hanley gave the home side the lead the against the run of play with a header from a Charlie Mulgrew corner at the end of the first half of the game which was Gordon Strachan’s first competitive game in charge of Scotland.
However, in the 70th minute, after Scotland forward Robert Snodgrass was sent off for picking up his second yellow card for a challenge on Welsh defender Chris Gunter inside the home penalty area, Aaron Ramsey levelled from the spot before Hal Robson-Kanu headed in the winner just over a minute later, with Ramsey shown a straight red card for a “last man” tackle on James McArthur.
However, there could be no Scottish complaints about the result, which will boost Wales for the rest of the campaign – even if their hopes of qualification remain slight.
The second of Scotland’s double-header is in Serbia on Tuesday while the Welsh welcome Croatia but as far as the Scots are concerned, with two points from five games, their trip appears to be an exercise in futility.
Most of the attention in the build-up had been on Gareth Bale, who shrugged off a virus and ankle knock to take his place in Chris Coleman’s side alongside Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley and former Celtic forward Craig Bellamy.
Strachan raised a few eyebrows by including 21-year-old Blackburn stopper Hanley alongside skipper Gary Caldwell, with Alan Hutton and Mulgrew as full-backs.
Graham Dorrans and McArthur anchored the midfielder with Chris Burke, Shaun Maloney and Snodgrass backing up striker Steven Fletcher.
Strachan’s plans were disrupted with only a couple of minutes gone when Fletcher injured himself on the way down from an aerial challenge with Welsh defender Ben Davies.
The Sunderland striker looked in some distress and he was carried off on a stretcher to be replaced by Kenny Miller.
Overall Strachan’s side were outplayed and, with this defeat, all their hopes of Rio disappeared.