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Wales 0-0 United States: Hosts held to stalemate in Giggs’ absence



Wales were held to a home stalemate by the United States on Thursday in the absence of head coach Ryan Giggs.

Giggs agreed to step aside for Wales’ three November fixtures after his recent arrest following an assault allegation, which he denies, and stand-in boss Robert Page oversaw a 0-0 draw.

A youthful USA were the brighter of the sides in the first half without managing to test Danny Ward, before Wales – without Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale in their squad – improved in the second period but could find no way through in a low-key friendly at the Liberty Stadium.

Tom Lawrence was among nine changes to Wales’ starting line-up following last month’s late win in Bulgaria and he tested Zack Steffen with the first shot 32 minutes in.

However, Barcelona teenager Konrad de la Fuente, one of USA’s three debutants, wasted the only notable chance of the first half when pouncing on Dylan Levitt’s backpass and blazing over.

Both sides used the second half to introduce more debutants and Brennan Johnson nearly marked his maiden cap in style, only denied a goal by Zack Steffen’s low save just 37 seconds after coming on.

While Wales have made a habit of scoring late goals in recent game, the best of the remaining openings in Swansea fell the way of USA substitute Ulysses Llanez, who had a low shot pushed around the post by Ward.

What does it mean? Few positives for Giggs

Page revealed on the eve of the match that Giggs would “only be a phone call away” if needed, but the absent Wales boss will perhaps wish he had watched something else.

This friendly was always going to be about the bigger picture for both sides, USA experimenting with youth in the absence of their MLS contingent as Wales prioritised their upcoming Nations League games.

In the end, a draw was just about the right result in a match that saw just three shots on target combined, even if USA did dominate 61 per cent of possession.

Adams shines on return

USA dominated the midfield battle and that was thanks in large to the impressive work of Tyler Adams alongside Yunus Musah and Weston McKennie.

Making his first international appearance since March 2019, the RB Leipzig midfielder made more tackles (three) than any other USA player and attempted 67 passes – the third-most of anyone on the field, despite being replaced with 71 minutes played.

Moore support needed

Kieffer Moore surprisingly remained on the pitch for over an hour in this friendly, despite being Wales’ only recognised striker for the vital games with Republic of Ireland and Finland.

He had just two touches of the ball in the opposition box and his passing accuracy of 57.1 per cent was the lowest of any Wales player, although the Cardiff City man will rightly argue he had very little support from out wide.

What’s next?

Wales switch focus to a Nations League double-header, starting with Sunday’s home match with Republic of Ireland. USA have a friendly against Panama in Austria next Monday.

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