Relive Wales' goalless draw against a dominant Mexico side in Pasadena with Sports Mole's text commentary.
By Mark Langshaw, Reporter Filed: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 01:00 UK
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 09:24 UK
Wales have held Mexico to a goalless draw at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, despite their opponents dominating the game.
The friendly international served as a World Cup warm-up for El Tri, and Wales boss Ryan Giggs took the opportunity to blood youngsters, including Matt Smith and George Thomas, off the bench.
Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey pulled off several vital saves to maintain the parity throughout, while the Dragons' best chance to break the deadlock came in the 25th minute when Harry Wilson shot wide.
Find out how the match played out with our minute-by-minute text commentary below.
1.00amHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the friendly international between Mexico and Wales at the Rose Bowl in Padsadena, California. For the Mexicans, the game serves as their first official warm-up match ahead of the World Cup finals, while the Dragons are expected to use it to give a few fringe players a runout as manager Ryan Giggs continues to assess his squad. Team news incoming...
1.02amWe're still waiting for both teams to announce their starting XI's in Padsadena, so let's examine the context behind their friendly while we wait. Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio has to whittle his 27-player preliminary squad down to 23 ahead of the World Cup finals, and tonight could have a bearing on which four players won't be travelling to Russia.
1.04amWales, meanwhile, are still overcoming the disappointment of failing to book a place in Russia but it isn't all doom and gloom. Ryan Giggs is likely to use the match as a means of assessing the players he's inherited from Chris Coleman, which should mean youngsters being given a runout.
1.09amSorry about the delay there. Both starting XIs came through slightly late and there's still no word on the Mexico subs, although we'll bring you up to speed on those as soon as we hear anything.
1.11amWales have named a strong XI for this friendly international, with four changes from their last outing. Key players Gareth Bale, Joe Allen, James Chester and Neil Taylor are unavailable today but Giggs has plenty of experience to draw from.
1.13amCaptain Ashley Williams starts in the centre of the Welsh defence, with Ledley and Ramsey occupying central midfield positions in the engine room of what looks like a 4-3-3.
1.15amSam Vokes of Burnley spearheads the Welsh attack, with Lawrence and Wilson providing support for him on the flanks.
1.17amGiggs has included some young blood in his side as Brentford's Chris Mepham lines up in defence. His fellow prospects David Brooks, George Thomas and Matthew Smith could be given a runout from the bench.
1.19amJavier Hernandez of Manchester United is one to watch for Mexico today. He leads their attack with support from Corona and Aquino, while Molina takes on a holding midfield position.
1.21amOswaldo Alanis starts at left-back in the absence of Miguel Layun while Erick Gutierrez gets the chance to impress in an advanced midfield role.
1.23amMexico manager Osorio will use this match to assess his preliminary squad ahead of their first World Cup match against Germany on June 17. Four players must be axed from that squad, so there's everything to play for today.
1.25amOsorio's men aced their World Cup qualification group and head into this match in decent form, with three wins and two defeats in their last six games.
1.27amThose wins came against Poland, Bosnia and Iceland and they were followed by an impressive 3-3 draw with Belgium, in which Hirving Lozano bagged a brace.
1.29amThey are aiming to return to winning ways today in front of what is expected to be a predominantly-Mexican crowd at the Rose Bowl, having lost their last match 1-0 to Croatia.
1.31amThe Mexicans usually perform in front of their own support, winning six out of their last seven home games and five out of the last six friendlies in which the crowd was predominantly Mexican.
1.33amThere is expected to be a crowd of around 70,000 out to watch this one. You can see how the Rose Bowl is filling up in this image...
1.35amOver to Wales, and they are still recovering from the disappointment of failing to reach the World Cup finals. Their qualifying campaign, in which they finished behind Serbia and Republic of Ireland in Group D, was underwhelming, to say the least.
1.37amMany were expecting more from the side then managed by Chris Coleman after they set Euro 2016 alight, but the Dragons are now looking ahead to a new era under this man Ryan Giggs.
1.39amGiggs began his tenure as Wales boss with two games in the Far East, thrashing China 6-0 before losing to a strong Uruguay side in the final of the China Cup.
1.41amThe Welsh are without the talismanic Gareth Bale today as he was in action for Real Madrid in the Champions League final last Saturday. He isn't the only influential figure the Welsh are missing, but Giggs has fielded a more experienced team than expected today.
1.43amThis game is far from meaningless for both teams. As we've already touched on, it will help shape Mexico's final squad for the World Cup, but the Welsh players need to impress Giggs to ensure they're in pole position to make his squad for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers.
1.45amHEAD TO HEAD: Wales and Mexico have met just three times before, most recently in 2012 when the Mexicans emerged 2-0 winners thanks to a double from Jesus Aldo De Nigris.They also lost 2-1 to El Tri in a friendly in 1962.
1.47amThe only other meeting between these two teams came at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden when they played out a 1-1 draw.
1.49amPREDICTION: So Wales have never beaten Mexico and I can't see that changing tonight without Gareth Bale in their side. At full strength, Wales would be a match for Mexico, but I think the team Giggs has fielded will go down 1-0 to strong opposition.
1.51amOne key battle to look forward to today will take place on the wing - Corona versus Wilson. The former was in devastating form during World Cup qualifying, while Wilson is an exciting young Welsh prospect, impressing on loan at Hull from Liverpool last season.
1.53amHere's a recap of the Mexico starting XI ahead of kickoff...
3 minMexico are the first to venture forward and they win an early corner as Jesus Molina's cross is deflected behind. The corner kick comes in but the Welsh defence clears its lines dutifully.
5 minThe Mexicans try to conjure something along the left channel as Ayala and Gutierrez exchange passes, but it ultimately comes to nothing.
6 minWales attempt to break through the centre but Sam Vokes's mistimed pass goes out for a throw off a green shirt. The Dragons do nothing with the resulting throw, besides usher the ball back to goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
7 minCHANCE! Mexico are back on the front foot and they claim the game's first shot on target as Jesus Manuel Corona lets fly from just inside the box, forcing Hennessey to tip the ball around his left post.
8 minWales respond by staging an attack of their own. Wilson runs towards the danger zone, dodging challenges, and slips the ball through for Lawrence, who goes down under a tackle in the box before Mexican keeper Jose Corona rushes out and claims the ball.
10 minJesus Corona looks menacing on the right flank. He draws a foul from his marker and wins a free kick in a dangerous position. Mexico squander it, though.
12 minWales have set out a tight stall in California. They're forcing Javier Hernandez to drop deep in order to see anything of the ball. That's a sensible strategy considering the striker is often deadly in the box in international fixtures.
14 minMexico win another corner but the Welsh defence has it covered. They attempt to break through Wilson but the move fizzles out as Lawrence is fouled.
15 minWales take the free kick short but it's poor. Davies attempts to pick out Lawrence but puts far too much on it, putting the ball out of play.
17 minThere's a blow for Wales as captain Ashley Williams is down with what looks like a nasty shoulder injury. He's receiving treatment from his team's medical staff and doesn't look like he will be continuing.
19 minThe Everton defender is back on his feet but it looks like he's leaving the field.
21 minSUBSTITUTION: Tom Lockyer comes on to replace the injured Williams.
23 minSHOT! Guitierrez comes close for Mexico as he gains possession inside the Wales box and gets a shot away from a tight angle, forcing Hennessey into another save.
25 minCHANCE! Wales' best chance of the match so far goes begging as Gunter picks out Wilson on the right flank. The Liverpool youngster cuts inside and lets fly but his effort drifts just wide of the upright.
27 minMexico are seeing more of the ball and playing at a fast tempo, but Wales are soaking up everything they're throwing at them and look capable of hitting them on the break through Wilson and Laurence. Both teams have given a good account of themselves so far.
29 minA stray pass from Ledley is snapped up by Corona, but the move breaks down before it can even start thanks to sloppy play from El Tri.
31 minGood passing play from Mexico carves out a half-chance for Molina, who shoots low from the edge of the box, though fails to muster enough power or placement to trouble Hennessey.
33 minScrappiness is setting into the Mexican defence. They take out Lawrence clumsily, gifting Wales a free kick in a dangerous position. Ramsey steps up and plays it short but his teammates fail to make anything of it.
35 minThere could be more injury woes for Wales here. After losing captain Ashley Williams, the Dragons could be about to lose Ramsey as well. He's gone down on his ankle and the Welsh medical staff have strapped it up. The Arsenal star looks in some discomfort but will struggle on... but for how long?
36 minGreat skill by Jesus Corona along the right flank almost carves out a chance for former Manchester United man Hernandez. Corona's through-pass almost sends Chicharito clean through on goal but he puts too much on it and the ball drifts out of play.
38 minA quick update on Ramsey: he's signalled to the referee that he's good to continue for the time being but he's hobbling somewhat. I expect Giggs will assess him at half time and likely withdraw him for the second half.
40 minCHANCE! Herrera has a crack from the edge of the box and channels some power, but Hennessey is equal to the strike, tipping it over the crossbar.
42 minHector Herrera's long ball is intercepted by Andy King and Wales attempt to stage a swift counter, but the Mexican defence is equal to it and the move breaks down.
44 minNo goals in this one as we head into half time, but it's been a decent match. Mexico have attempted to play fast-paced, attacking football but Wales have been well organised and contained their opponents well.
45 minThere will be three minutes of stoppage time to play.
2.55amThe half-time whistle sounds in Padsadena and there are no goals between Mexico and Wales but several talking points to delve into.
2.57amChief among them is that injury to Ashley Williams. Losing his captain so early was a major blow for Giggs as there aren't many more experienced and influential than the Everton man.
2.58amThis was followed by Aaron Ramsey suffering what appears to be an ankle sprain. It's yet to be confirmed whether he will be out for the second period, but let's hope so. Without him, Wales might struggle to create anything in the final third.
3.01amWayne Hennessey has been the busier of the two goalkeepers, pulling off saves to deny Corona and Gutierrez, though it hasn't been one-way traffic. Wilson came close for Wales in the 25th minute and that wasn't the only time they have threatened.
3.03amIn terms of possession, Mexico have bossed it with 63% versus Wales' 37% but Giggs is playing a containment game here and encouraging his side to hit the opposition on the counter. They've soaked up the pressure so far and staged a few decent breaks.
3.05amWhen we look at the number of shots the two teams have managed, it looks like a one-sided affair. Mexico have registered 10 attempts and five on target while Wales have had two, neither of which was on target.
3.07amBoth managers could be tempted to ring the changes at the break. Wales fans could get a glimpse of highly-rated youngsters David Brooks, George Thomas and Matthew Smit.
46 minKICKOFF! The second half is underway. Stand by for live updates from the second period.
47 minMexico made a couple of changes at the interval. Jurgen Damm enters the d fray in place of Jesus Molina, and Owaldo Alanis is taken off for Carlos Salcedo.
47 minIt looks like Wales have made more than one change too, as Declan John of Rangers is out there on the pitch. Official confirmation of their subs is yet to come in, though.
48 minHere we go! It's a trio of changes for Giggs' men...
Substitutions for Wales
David Brooks 🔄 Joe Ledley Connor Roberts 🔄 Andy King Declan John 🔄 Sam Vokes#MEXWAL 🇲🇽0-0🏴
50 minIt's been a subdued start to the second period as both sides adjust to key personelle changes. There have been counters at both ends of the park but nothing that has resulted in anything of substance.
52 minThere's a burst of pace from Mexico captain Herrera, who exploits a gap in the Welsh midfield and powers forward before chipping a lofted pass towards Hernandez in the penalty area. However, the skipper puts too much on his delivery and the ball drifts out for a goalkick.
54 minWales have taken a more defensive approach to the second period. They are sitting deeper and the withdrawl of Vokes has given them less of a presence in the final third. Looks like Giggs is parking the bus here.
56 minGOOD SAVE! Hennessey comes to his side's rescue again! Herrera gets a yard on his marker and goes clean through on goal. He attempts to round the Welsh keeper but Hennessey comes out to meet him, makes himself big and produces a vital block to keep the scoreline level.
58 minGood defending from John maintains the parity! A dangerous cross comes into the Wales area but the Rangers man is quickest to it, clearing his lines before Herrera can bundle the ball over the line.
60 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Mexico make a double change on the hour, throwing on Peralta for Hernandez and Jonathan dos Santos for their skipper Herrera, who has been dangerous all game.
62 minMexico threaten from a corner, which Alvarez meets with a header inside the six-yard box, missing the target by inches.
64 minSUBSTITUTION: It's a big moment for Leicester City youngster George Thomas as he comes on to make his international debut in place of Harry Wilson.
66 minBOOKING! The first yellow card of the game goes to Aaron Ramsey for a poorly-timed tackle on Edson Alvarez. He can have no complaints about that caution.
68 minIt's been all Mexico in the second period. Although Wales have defended just as well as they did in the first half, they're short on ideas in the final third. There's also an element of the Mexicans being wasteful but let's take nothing away from the Dragons: they've contained their opponents well.
69 minSUBSTITUTION: Another change for Mexico and Giovani dos Santos is the one to come on, replacing Jesus Corona, who has been a thorn in Wales' side throughout the match.
70 minThis game has attracted an excellent turnout. Check out the attendance! Not too shabby for a friendly both teams are playing on foreign soil.
72 minDeclan John has been excellent since he came on. He's taken his defensive responsibilities seriously and made some good runs with little support along the right channel.
74 minSUBSTITUTION: Gutierrez is substituted moments after picking up a booking for a poor challenge in the centre of the park. Marco Fabian is his replacement.
76 minSHOT! Here's a rarity in this second half: a shot on target. Jurgen Damm gets in on the action by unleashing and effort from long range. He puts some power behind it, but it's straight at Wayne Hennessey.
78 minSUBSTITUTION: Giggs hands out another debut as Manchester City's highly-rated youngster Matt Smith enters the fray to replace Lawrence.
80 minWe're into the final 10 minutes now and this game has 0-0 written all over it. A combination of Mexican wastefulness and tight Welsh defending has resulted in a shutout... well, it's looking that way, at least.
82 minThere's a nervy moment for Wales as Hennessey comes off his line to challenge Jonathan dos Santos. The substitute rounds the goalkeeper but not before he is forced wide. Dos Santos attempts to hoist a cross towards the back post while the keeper is off his line, but none of his teammates are on hand to capitalise.
84 minCHANCE! Dos Santos gives his marker the slip and he's away inside the penalty area with only the keeper to beat. Hennessey flies off his line and makes the save from close range, although it has to be said, Dos Santos's shot was woefully tame.
85 minThere's five minutes left to play now and Mexico are still coming at Wales. They don't look content with a draw. Wales, meanwhile have offered nothing up front and have desperately lacked Gareth Bale today.
87 minHennesey pulls off yet another save to keep out Dos Santos after Marco Fabian plays a neat ball over the top. He's been the man of the match for the Dragons this evening.
90 minThere will be two minutes of stoppage time to play.
4.02amSo there you have it: Wales hold a strong Mexico side to a goalless draw in Ryan Giggs's third game in charge. He has his work cut out getting goals out of this team, although it should be pointed out that the return of Gareth Bale would go some way to fixing that issue.
4.04amThere were certainly positives to draw for the home nation, such as the dogged way the Dragons defended, though Mexico were wasteful and that doesn't bode well considering they'll face stronger sides than Wales at the World Cup.
4.06amThat's all we have time for here but check back in with Sports Mole for coverage of all of the biggest international matches, including the World Cup games from next month. Many thanks for reading.