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BBC Sport's Ian Brown
"There was nothing to celebrate as Wales slipped out of the World Cup"
 real 14k

Wales boss Mark Hughes
"Second half we didn't get out of the blocks"
 real 56k

Wales' Robbie Savage
"The overall perfromance was good but we just couldn't get the goals."
 real 56k

Wales striker Iwan Roberts
"It's very disappointing for us"
 real 56k

Saturday, 1 September, 2001, 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK
Sorry Wales draw a blank
Ryan Giggs tangles with Armenia's Arkadi Dokhoyan
Ryan Giggs tangles with Armenia's Arkadi Dokhoyan
Wales 0-0 Armenia

Wales failed to mark their 500th international match with a victory and saw their outside hopes of World Cup qualification disappear.

Manager Mark Hughes knew his side's only chance of keeping their dream alive was a victory and the goalless draw extended their run without a win to 11 games.

It was the sixth game without success at the Millennium Stadium for Wales.

Ryan Giggs led Wales in the absence of injured Gary Speed, and played alongside Craig Bellamy and Iwan Roberts in attack.

The Welsh strike force, missing the suspended Nathan Blake and John Hartson, was straight into action, but Bellamy was denied by a saving tackle by Hovsepyan.

From the corner, Giggs floated in a cross and Kit Symons saw his header saved by Armenian goalkeeper Berezovski.

Wales had twice taken the lead in the 2-2 draw in Armenia earlier in the year, and were looking to find an early goal again.

Wales' Carl Robinson tackles Artur Khachtarayan
Wales' Carl Robinson tackles Artur Khachtarayan
Bellamy was proving a real thorn and won another corner which was punched clear by Berezovski.

Robbie Savage, the most experienced member of the Welsh midfield with 21 caps, then lost possession, but Armenia's attack petered out.

The visitors always had two players marking Giggs when he attacked, but in defence the Welsh skipper was also playing his part by helping left-back Steve Jenkins.

In the 16th minute, Wales had another chance after Armenian skipper Sukiasyan was fortunate to escape punishment for a kick at Roberts.

Well wide

Giggs floated the free-kick in and, as the ball ricocheted around the area, Symons was penalised for a foul.

Five minutes later, Roberts should have scored his first international goal.

Mark Delaney and Giggs created the opportunity and, from the Manchester United man's cross, Roberts steered a free header well wide.

Giggs forced a corner which caused more confusion and defender Symons was again on the end of it, but fired wide.

Robbie Savage enjoys a hair-raising moment against Armenia
Hair-raising: Robbie Savage in action
The visitors then created their first threat when a patient passing movement saw Khachataryan fire wide.

Welsh hopes for the trip to Norway on Wednesday were dealt a blow when Andy Melville was booked for a challenge on Movsesyan.

It was the Fulham defender's second yellow card of the tournament and ruled him out of the trip to Oslo.

Armenia were slowly getting into the game and Shahgeldyan had a shot saved by Paul Jones before Giggs missed a golden chance.

A long kick from Jones was headed on by Roberts and the Welsh skipper sped through to chip keeper Berezovski, but saw the ball fall agonisingly wide of the far post.

Wales were wasting the chances they had and it was Simon Davies who next failed to beat Berezovski after Roberts had caused more bother.

Armenia looked sharper aftert the break, with Petrosyan and Voskanyan dominating possession. Movsesyan almost capitalised, but shot wide.

Goalkeeper Paul Jones then came to his side's rescue when he held Vardanyan's fierce shot with Movsesyan waiting for the rebound.

Iwan Roberts and Albert Sukiasyan in an aerial battle
Roberts and Sukiasyan in an aerial battle
Armenia's Hovsepyan was booked for a foul on Bellamy before another glaring Welsh miss.

Giggs fired in the free-kick and Roberts - again unmarked - headed wide.

Both sides then created excellent chances as Jones saved from Shahgeldyan and then Bellamy brushed the crossbar with a looping header.

Armenia made their first change when Voskanyan was replaced by Harutyunyan after 67 minutes before Giggs had claims for a penalty turned down.

The visitors replaced Shahgeldyan with Simonyan before Wales boss Mark Hughes brought on his first substitutes.

Matthew Jones celebrated his 21st birthday with his ninth cap, replacing Carl Robinson, while Steve Jenkins made way for Darren Barnard.

Wales continued to press, with Davies having a shot saved by Berezovski before Giggs fired another chance high and wide.


Wales: P Jones, M Delaney, K Symons, A Melville, S Jenkins, Carl Robinson, R Savage, S Davies, C Bellamy, I Roberts, R Giggs (capt).
Subs: D Ward, R Page, D Barnard, John Robinson, J Koumas, G Taylor, M Jones.

Armenia: Berezoviki, Sukiasyan (capt), Dokhoyan, Hovsepyan, Vardanyan, Khachataryan, Petrosyan, Voskanyan, Dohoian, Shahgeldyan, Movsesyan.
Subs: Abrahamyan, Hakobyan, Petikyan, Harutyunyan, Demirtsyan, Mkrtchyan, Simonyan.

Referee: Joseph Attard (Malta).

Other top World Cup 2002 stories:

Links to more World Cup 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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