From Phil Blanche, PA
Wales celebrated Chris Gunters historic night as a record breaker with 100 internationals with a 1-0 home win over Mexico.
Kieffer Moore’s fifth goal in 13 internationals after 11 minutes was a Tight friendly at times at Cardiff City Stadium.
The goal was both scored and finished in Cardiff when Jonny Williams, who played in an unusual full-back position, crossed to club-mate Moore, who found the net with a cheeky hand-to-hand fight.
SGÃ ?? R TERFYNOL | 🏴 1-0 🇲🇽 Centurion Captain Cymru wins 🏴 # WALMEX | #TogetherStronger pic.twitter.com/HjHCAvITDY
It was a shame the coronavirus pandemic prevented supporters of Wales from personally paying tribute to Gunter, one of their favorite sons.
Gunter’s Wales trip started in May 2007 with a 2-2 draw against New Zealand. There have been many ups and downs over the past 14 years.
The Charlton right-back started 63 straight times between February 2011 and September 2018, surpassing Neville Southall’s 92 cap mark in November 2018.
Gunter led a team that showed eleven changes compared to the team beaten 3-1 by Belgium in the opening qualification for the 2022 World Cup on Wednesday.
With a view to Cardiff’s qualifier against the Czech Republic on Tuesday, caretaker manager Robert Page decided to rest like Gareth Bale, Daniel James and Ethan Ampadu.
However, Bale came off the bench late when Wales celebrated their first win against Mexico in five attempts.
Wayne Hennessey won his 95th international game as goalkeeper for Crystal Palace, the first time since his hamstring injury in the Nations League win in Bulgaria in October.It was the last chance for Wales’ fringes to shine ahead of the selection of the squad ahead of this summer’s belated European Championship – and most of them took the opportunity to impress.
Matt Smith, on loan with Doncaster from Manchester City, impressed for Wales (David Davies / PA).
Matt Smith, the Manchester City midfielder on loan from Doncaster, impressed against Atletico Madrid’s Hector Herrera and has certainly done enough to book his ticket for Euro 2020.
Mexico, ninth in the World and nine places above Wales, was described as an experienced team, but had to do without Raul Jimenez.
The Wolves striker had spent the week at the camp on the way to recovery from the fractured skull he suffered in November , although Mexican manager Gerardo Martino confirmed that contact training was not included.
Four previous games between the two nations had resulted in two Mexico wins and two draws. The last two games were played on American soil in 2012 and 2018, and this was the first time Mexico has visited Wales.
Mexico claimed a penalty within the first minute when Hirving Lozano was challenged by Ben Cabango.
But the Napoli striker fell too lightly and Northern Irish referee Ian McNabb kept waving.
Wales took the lead despite Smith being offside when he received Gunter’s pass on the right.
The game was allowed to continue and Williams crossed Moore for conversion in familiar surroundings.
Moore was in a physical battle with Edson Alvarez and Mexico was threatened with self-control. Lozano was admonished by Hennessey after a late challenge against the goalkeeper.
Hennessey was back in the thick of the action to run out of his area and prevent Jesus Gallardo from reaching the home gate before Jesus Corona slipped past Cabango to far to shoot.
Rabbi Matondo made an idiosyncratic attempt by Dylan Levitt on the other end, but Hennessey held Luis Rodriguez’s ’20-yard attempt near the break.
Hal Robson-Kanu, who at halftime came on for Moore, tried to bring Tyler Roberts’ cross home before Hennessey Wales came to the rescue.
Lozano was pushed through the gate, but Hennessey stood tall and did a great job saving with his legs.
Josh Sheehan, another substitute at halftime, sent a heavy shot wide, and Mexico’s last hope of rescuing an equalizer was lost when Corona shot over the bar deep into stoppage time.
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