Kieffer Moore bags a brace as Wales put four past Gibraltar in Wrexham

By Sports Desk October 11, 2023

Wales warmed up for Euro 2024 qualifying action by cruising to a 4-0 win over Gibraltar in Wrexham.

All the goals came in the first half as Kieffer Moore scored twice with Ben Davies and Nathan Broadhead also getting on the scoresheet.

After last month’s victory in Latvia, it was the first time Wales had achieved back-to-back wins since November 2021.

The performance, especially the opening period, will encourage Wales manager Rob Page ahead of the vital qualifier against Croatia on Sunday, even if Gibraltar’s standing in world football must be taken into account.

This was the maiden meeting between the two nations at senior level and also marked Wales’ return to the SToK Racecourse for the first time since beating Trinidad and Tobago there in 2019.

The Football Association of Wales were rewarded with a sell-out crowd of 10,008 as fans in the north showed their appetite to support the national team.

Page rested several regulars with the Croatia fixture in mind, when Wales will realistically need at least a point to keep alive hopes of automatic qualification for next summer’s European Championship finals in Germany.

Davies took over the captaincy in the absence of the injured Aaron Ramsey, the Tottenham defender winning his 81st cap as Gibraltar played the 81st match in their history.

Charlie Savage, the 20-year-old son of former Wales midfielder Robbie, Joe Low, Regan Poole and Liam Cullen were handed first caps.

Savage, in particular, could be satisfied with his night’s work as he showed composure in possession and exhibited a good range of passing.

Gibraltar came into the game 198th in the world with only nine nations below them on FIFA’s rankings table.

Preparing to play the Republic of Ireland in Euro qualification on Monday, Gibraltar had suffered six straight defeats and not scored since a 1-0 friendly win over Andorra 11 months ago.

The loudest cheer in the opening minutes came when Savage evoked memories of his father with a crunching, but fair, challenge on Tjay De Barr that left the Gibraltar forward on the floor.

Broadhead was off target with a couple of efforts before Wales took the lead after 22 minutes from an unlikely source.

Skipper Davies rose highest from Broadhead’s corner and Gibraltar’s fallibility in the air was punished again when Moore met Savage’s cross to score expertly off a post.

Daniel James, on early for the injured Wes Burns, was causing havoc down the left and forced a sprawling save from Dayle Coleing.

The over-worked Gibraltar goalkeeper also denied Savage twice and Liam Walker cleared another Davies effort off the line.

Broadhead then took James’ 35th-minute pass and turned smartly to find the top corner of Coleing’s net with a sweet right-footed strike.

Cullen twice went close and the fourth arrived on the stroke of half-time as James scampered free again to deliver a perfect cross for the waiting head of Moore.

Page made a raft of substitutions at half-time and the contest lost much of its rhythm.

The changes also removed the possibility of Wales eclipsing their record 11-0 win against Ireland in 1888.

Tom Bradshaw was inches from connecting with a Josh Sheehan cross that flashed across goal, but the second half was largely a nondescript affair.

James shook the crowd from their slumber with an angled effort that rattled the woodwork, but Wales had already achieved their objectives heading into Sunday.

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