Wales 0-0 Czech Republic
Ryan Giggs' final match as a Wales international saw the team produce their best game of football since the start of their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.
Giggs' display in the second half very nearly provided a fairytale ending for the Manchester United winger, but his effort, after a dizzy run, was blocked by Petr Cech. Coach John Toshack handed a competitive debut for 20-year old keeper Wayne Hennessey and the youngster chalked out an impressive performance that could see him cement his place in the starting line up.
Even as Czech Republic tried to force the issue in pursuit of three points, Hennessey looked assured in the penalty area and pulled off some great saves to deny Tomas Rosicky and Marek Kulic. Czech started the match with three points in mind to keep pressure on group leaders Germany, but were not ready for the level of performance shown by the Welsh team.
Wales badly needed a victory to have even a small chance of qualifying to the Euro 2008 championships, but even though the team tried its best, it was unable to get a breakthrough. The first chance of the match was created by Giggs who, having pouched on a rebound, passed the ball to Bellamy but David Rozehnal slid in to deny Bellamy the chance to score.
Giggs once again came close, this time his free kick going just over the bar. at the other end Rosicky's feeble effort was watched all the way out of the touchline after Marek Jankulovski had done a great job on the left hand side to provide the Arsenal midfielder with the chance.
Rosicky came very close to redeem himself but his long-range shot was denied by a fantastic flying save by Hennessey. Koumas had a chance to score, but his shot was tipped away by a scrambling Cech. Second half saw Giggs provide Bellamy with a delightful cross, which was headed away by Czech defenders.
Koumas nearly provided Wales the lead in the 50th minute when his free kick struck the crossbar. Meanwhile Czech were getting frustrated with their inability to breach the Welsh defense, which only increased when Rosicky saw his free kick smash against the wall.
Then Giggs weaved his magic, very nearly provided his team with the lead. The Welshman took the ball and went on a 50-yard dash that saw him beat four defenders before smashing the ball towards the goal. However the attempt was blocked by Cech and Czech defenders rushed back in time to clear the rebound.
With just 5 minutes to go, Bellamy nearly got free of the defenders, but the final pass was too strong for the Liverpool striker to latch on to. With the draw, Wales' dream of qualifying for the Euro 2008 championship looks all but over while Czech Republic will have to battle it out with Republic of Ireland for the second qualifying spot after Germany took a 2-point lead with one game in hand. Wales v Czech Republic finished goalless.
Tags: Ryan Giggs, Wales, Euro 2008 qualifying, Czech Republic, Euro 2008 championships, Wales v Czech Republic