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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February, 2005, 21:59 GMT
Wales 2-0 Hungary
Craig Bellamy took his Wales scoring tally to nine with his brace
John Toshack began his second reign as Wales manager in style with a pleasing victory over Hungary in Cardiff.

Craig Bellamy, a constant attacking threat, scored both goals, the first a free-kick that somehow squirmed under Hungary goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly.

Kiraly was also at fault for Bellamy's second, allowing the Wales striker to shoot through his legs into the goal.

Carl Robinson had hit the Hungary post in the first half while Zoltan Gera's shot hit the Wales bar moments later.

Injuries to senior players had hampered Wales' preparations, but debutants such as Swansea's Sam Ricketts impressed.

Deprived of the likes of Ryan Giggs, John Hartson and Robbie Savage through injury, Toshack was forced into using an unfamiliar 3-5-2 formation filled with comparative rookies.

Both sides seemed to take time to adjust to the slight bumps and undulations of the Millennium Stadium pitch.

Many of the pallets the grass sits on had been hurriedly replaced because of the damage caused by last Saturday's rugby international.

The groundstaff must take credit for producing a playable surface, but still the players had to concentrate more than normal on the roll of the ball.

Approaching the quarter-hour mark, Rob Edwards fashioned Wales' first real threatening moment.

The Wolves player nutmegged his marker down the right and curled in a cross that sailed just above the leaping Rob Earnshaw.

Hungary responded through Tamas Hajnal, whose long-range swerving shot was beaten away by Danny Coyne in the Welsh goal.

KEY MOMENTS
Carl Robinson was unlucky to hit the post
40 mins: Robinson's toe-poke comes off Hungary post
44 mins: Gera's shot skims the Wales crossbar
63 mins: Bellamy puts Wales ahead with a 30-yard free-kick
80 mins: Bellamy races through to grab his second

Wales continued to enjoy some success down the flanks and Carl Fletcher, impressive in midfield, was inches away from connecting with Ricketts' deep, flighted cross.

The Swansea man was enjoying his attacking full-back role down the left, combining to good effect with fellow debutant David Partridge of Motherwell.

Despite there being little to trouble the goalkeepers for most of the half, both sides spurned gilt-edged chances just before the break.

Wales' fell to Robinson when the ball ricocheted into the Sunderland man's path as he ran into the Hungarian box.

Crystal Palace keeper Kiraly was quickly off his line to hurry Robinson, who watched the chance for his first Wales goal hit the post.

Then Gera - another Hungarian playing in the Premiership, although for West Brom - brilliantly worked space for himself and skimmed his shot off the top of the crossbar.

Wales rode a slightly ragged start to the second half, but responded well to Bellamy's promptings as he led the line with his usual drive and enthusiasm.

The new Celtic striker had looked Wales' most likely goal threat and so it proved on 63 minutes when Bellamy claimed his eighth international goal.

Bellamy is not known for his set-piece prowess, but his swerving free-kick from 30 yards somehow squirmed under an embarrassed Kiraly in the Hungary goal.

Seventeen minutes later Kiraly was left thumping the ground in frustration again, as Bellamy's shot bumped through the keeper's legs and just crossed the line.

Kiraly almost made it a hat-trick of blunders soon after when his fluffed clearance went straight to Bellamy, who was only denied a hat-trick of goals by a despairing block.

As the replacements flowed, Steve Roberts and Danny Collins both came on to win their first Wales caps.


Wales: Coyne, Edwards (Weston 49), Page, Partridge (Collins 64), Gabbidon, Ricketts, Davies, Fletcher, Robinson (Stephen Roberts 90), Bellamy, Earnshaw (Gareth Roberts 75).
Sub Not Used: Jones.

Goals: Bellamy 63, 80.

Hungary: Kiraly, Bodnar, Gyepes, Juhasz, Dragoner, Lipcsei (Kovacs 67), Korsos (Rosa 65), Hajnal (Leandro 58), Torghelle (Kenesei 82), Gera, Huszti.
Subs: Szucs, Stark, Vanczak, Vincze.

Booked: Dragoner.

Att: 16,672

Referee: C Richmond (Scotland).




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Wales striker Craig Bellamy



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