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banner Saturday, 24 March, 2001, 19:51 GMT
Hartson keeps Wales hopes alive
John Hartson
John Hartson battled hard for his two goals
Armenia 2-2 Wales

John Hartson grabbed two goals against Armenia to give Wales a World Cup Group Five lifeline in Yerevan.

The big striker scored fine goals in each half but Armenia, who had Albert Sargsyan sent off with nine minutes to go, led in the first half through Artak Minasyan and then equalised with a stunner from Andrey Movsisyan.

Wales were fearful of being caught cold by the Armenian's start and it needed the constant harrying of Gary Speed and Mark Pembridge to stem the flow.

Mark Delaney created the first danger for the hosts when he got to the by-line and drilled in a low centre that Sarkis Hovsepyan sliced towards his own goal, keeper Harutyun Abramyan just pulling the ball back from the line.

Feliks Khodjoyan was booked on 13 minutes for dragging down Dean Saunders by his shirt as he attempted to sprint onto a Pembridge ball down the right.

Saunders was winning his 74th cap to claim a new record for an outfield player, and continously harried the Armenian's down the right flank.


The tiny knot of Wales fans, drenched to the skin and waving their shirts around their heads, were making themselves heard as a driving Craig Bellamy run down the left onto another fine Pembridge ball won a corner.

Armenia found out about Andy Legg's famed long throw on 23 minutes when Abramyan dropped one of the Cardiff star's missiles and Saunders fired the loose ball inches wide.

Artur Petrosyan was booked for bringing down Delaney and from the free-kick Pembridge laid it off to Legg in his own half.

Dean Saunders
Dean Saunders: Capped a good performance
There seemed no danger but but a poor ball forward was snapped up by Andrey Movsisyan, who surged forward and fed Armen Shahgeldyan.

The big forward powered into the box and his shot appeared to be going in when it was prodded home by Minasyan on the far post.

Wales were rocked but they fought back strongly and ought to have been awarded a penalty when Saunders was clearly hauled down by his shirt.

But Mark Hughes' side grabbed an equaliser in the 40th minute through Hartson.


The Coventry striker went round substitute Hovhannes Demirchyan on the edge of the box before firing a cracker into the top corner to leave the score ties at half-time.

Wales brought on Matthew Jones at the break for Pembridge, and the young Leicester star had an instant hand in a second goal for Hartson.

A free-kick out on the left was hoisted into the box and Hartson, making a run across the area, sent a fine header crashing home to give Wales the lead.

The goal inspired Armenia to greater efforts and Wales made the fatal mistake of sitting back and letting their hosts attack them.

The inevitable happened on 66 minutes when Jones allowed Movsesyan to run from deep and the winger unleashed a stunning 25 yarder into the roof of the net.

Iwan Roberts took over from Hartson on 79 minutes, and two minutes later Armenia had Sargsyan sent off for a second yellow card when he brought down substitute Carl Robinson.

Armenia - Artak Minasyan 32, Andrei Movsesyan 71.
Wales - John Hartson 40, 49.
Half-time: 1-1; Att: 9,000

Teams -

Armenia: 1-Arutyun Abramyan; 2-Artak Minasyan (16-Oganes Demirchyan 39), 3-Feliks Khodjoyan (13-Artavazd Karamyan 57), 4-Sarkis Hovsepyan, 5-Arutyun Vardanyan, 6-Albert Sarkisyan, 7-Artur Petrosyan, 8-Artur Voskanyan, 9-Karen Dokhoyan, 10-Armen Shakhgeldyan, 11-Andrei Movsesyan.

Wales: 1-Paul Jones; 2-Mark Delaney, 3-Andy Legg, 4-Andy Melville, 5-Robert Page, 6-Mark Pembridge, 7-John Robinson, 8-Dean Saunders (15-Carl Robinson 74), 9-John Hartson (16-Iwan Roberts 80), 10-Gary Speed, 11-Craig Bellamy.

Referee: George Kasnaferis (Greece).

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See also:

22 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
Wales 'grin and bear it' in Armenia
22 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
Hughes looks on bright side
22 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
Hartson finds missing spark
21 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
Speed eyes crucial Wales test
21 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
Saunders: Facilities fail the test
20 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
Delaney eyes Armenia return
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