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Wales manager Mark Hughes
"If we're going to progress we have to learn our lessons."
 real 14k

Wales goalscorer Robbie Savage
"We sat back in the second-half and didn't play as well as we can."
 real 14k

Wednesday, 5 September, 2001, 20:27 GMT 21:27 UK
Hughes defends Giggs over red card
Ryan Giggs
Giggs was sent off for the first time in his career
Ryan Giggs picked up the first red card of his career as Wales went down 3-2 against Norway in Oslo.

The 27-year-old Manchester United star was sent off after collecting his second yellow card in the dying minutes of the Group 5 World Cup qualifying defeat.

Afterwards a grim-faced Giggs said: "Yes, it was my first, and yes at any level. But I don't want to talk about it."

Wales boss Mark Hughes suggested afterwards that Giggs' superstar status may have contributed to his dismissal.

Giggs was booked for complaining to the referee, Austrian Fritz Struchlik, about a corner decision that was clearly a Wales free kick.

The second one certainly was not a bad foul. The lad immediately jumped up and walked away
Mark Hughes on Giggs' second yellow card
As captain he obviously felt he could question the official, but he had a yellow card brandished in his face.

Then a late tackle on Roar Strand in the dying minutes on the touchline resulted in Struchlik brandishing a second yellow and then a red, with Kit Symons taking over the captaincy.

Hughes said: "I haven't really seen the two incidents yet on TV, but maybe if he had been any other player he would have stayed on.

"Whether the fact that it was Ryan was a factor you'll have to ask the referee.

"The second one certainly was not a bad foul. The lad immediately jumped up and walked away."

Giggs' United team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was playing for Norway, said: "It will certainly be a very frustrating flight home for Ryan.

"I felt the second incident was a yellow card but I do feel sympathy for him."

The night had started so well for Wales. Fine goals from Robbie Savage and Craig Bellamy gave them hope fo their first win of the qualifying campaign.

But although the Welsh defended stoutly, with Mark Delaney and Symons outstanding, they wilted under a constant barrage and Frode Johnsen headed the winner seven minutes from time.

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


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