Denmark 1-2 Cymru

For this 'Greatest Game' edition of FC Cymru we profile ten former Cymru managers and a match that defined each tenure. Bobby Gould is the next manager to feature in this series.

Denmark 1-2 Cymru – 10 October 1998 – Parken Stadium, Denmark.

Cymru XI: Jones (GK), Barnard, Coleman, Symons, Williams, Johnson (Pembridge 65), Savage, Speed (c), Blake (Bellamy 69), Hughes, Saunders (Robinson 81).

Goals: Williams (58), Bellamy (86).

Bobby Gould was only the second Englishman behind Mike Smith to manage Cymru, and victories were few and far between during his tenure as the side claimed just seven win from 24 games. Gould had been in position for three years by the time that UEFA EURO 2000 qualification began with Cymru joining Italy, Switzerland, Denmark and Belarus in Group 1 for the qualifying campaign. The campaign opened with a 2-0 defeat to Italy at the temporary home stadium of Liverpool's Anfield in September 1998, but Cymru caused a shock in the next round of fixtures as they travelled to Copenhagen

Denmark had reached the quarter-finals of the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and dominated the match for long periods without gaining the advantage until Søren Frederiksen opened the scoring after 57 minutes. However, Cymru responded immediately as Adrian Williams headed a free-kick from Darren Barnard past goalkeeper Mogens Krogh. At the other end of the field, Paul Jones put in a fine individual performance, and it was substitute Craig Bellamy who would make the headlines as he also headed a ball in from Barnard past Krogh with minutes remaining.

“They were all heroes,” said Gould after the match. “It was a magnificent performance. We believed victory was there for the taking, and the commitment and pride the players showed was all I could have asked for. All I saw was 14 fantastic Welshmen out there giving everything.” However, Denmark manager Bo Johnson had a different view. “They had one real chance and got two goals,” he explained. “This is soccer at its worst. We were playing very well, superbly, and had a lot of chances. We should have scored more.”

Although Cymru would also complete the double over Belarus, five defeats from the eight games left the side in fourth place in the final group standings as Italy headed to the finals as group winners while Denmark progressed with a commanding 8-0 aggregate victory over Israel in the play-offs. Denmark also made amends for the defeat to Cymru in the return match at Anfield in June 1999 as they claimed a 2-0 victory just a few days after Gould had resigned following a 4-0 defeat to Italy in Bologna.

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