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Page last updated at 22:19 GMT, Wednesday, 9 September 2009 23:19 UK

Toshack rues heavy losing margin

Wales captain Craig Bellamy takes in the 3-1 loss to Russia
Wales captain Craig Bellamy takes in the 3-1 loss to Russia

Wales manager John Toshack says his inexperienced side did not deserve to lose 3-1 to Russia in Wednesday's World Cup qualifying match in Cardiff.

James Collins pulled Wales level after Igor Semshov's opener, but Russia hit back through Sergei Ignashevich's free-kick and a Roman Pavlyuchenko strike.

"The lads did everything that was asked of them," Toshack said.

"The tactics we worked on beforehand, and the plans we made were carried out the way we asked them."

With the slim mathematical hopes of qualification form Group Four now ended by the defeat, Wales are now left to chase third place in their remaining two matches - both away.

They must beat Finland, five points ahead of them and occupying that third spot, in Helsinki on 10 October and then win at group minnows Liechtenstein four days later and wait on other results.

If Wales can repeat their performance against Russia then there is every chance of regaining some pride and earning a better draw for future qualification campaigns.

"There was not too much in it, we conceded at a bad time after doing well and when we equalised I felt we had a chance of making the game very interesting," Toshack added.

"They [the Wales players] were disciplined and we controlled much of the play in the first half.

"After James Collins' goal we had them on the ropes for a decent spell and could easily have taken the lead.

"But we gave away poor goals at the end, the third was a comedy of errors, and you are punished if you do that.

"But overall I felt the score-line flattered them, we did not deserve to lose by that amount."

Russia boss Guus Hiddink believed his side deserved their victory, although he praised Wales' spirit.

"We dominated tactically in the first half and with more accuracy we could have scored more," said Hiddink.

"Wales had great spirit, but they did not really create too many chances.

"But we know it is always difficult here in Cardiff and in the second half we were not at our best and lost some of our positioning.

"We were certainly not determined enough to clear the corner that they scored from.

"But the team responded in the right way to that setback. They did not panic even though they knew that 1-1 was not good enough, we had to win to stay in the race with Germany."

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see also
Wales 1-3 Russia
09 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Toshack's form warning to Ledley
06 Sep 09 |  Cardiff
Koumas announces Wales retirement
06 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Toshack open for Collins return
04 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Russia 2-1 Wales
10 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Internationals
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Internationals
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Feb 09 |  Wales

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