Armenia 1 Wales 1
Wales’ hopes of qualifying automatically for Euro 2024 were dented by a 1-1 draw in Armenia.
Lucas Zelarayan came back to haunt Wales again with a fifth-minute opener before a Nair Tiknizyan own goal in first-half stoppage time restored parity.
The draw helps neither side as far as joining already-qualified Turkey in the top two is concerned.
Even beating Turkey in Cardiff on Tuesday would not be enough for Wales should Croatia win their final two fixtures.
If Croatia win those games then Wales will be involved in the March play-offs.
Armenia’s chances of a top-two place are almost certainly over, barring a Croatia collapse.
Wales had a score to settle with Armenia after their humiliating 4-2 defeat in Cardiff five months ago, a result which left them playing catch-up in the race for the tournament in Germany next summer.
Rob Page’s side also had to turn the tide of history as Wales had never beaten Armenia in three previous meetings.
Wales were unchanged from the side that produced last month’s stunning 2-1 win over World Cup semi-finalists Croatia.
Brennan Johnson missed that game through injury and the Tottenham forward, fresh from his first Spurs goal, had to make do with a place on the bench.
Armenia – ranked 95 in the world and 67 places below Wales – showed nine survivors from the team who had won in Cardiff in June, including Grant-Leon Ranos and Zelarayan who both scored twice then.
Wales were behind inside five minutes after failing to deal with a corner.
Danny Ward hesitated before Joe Rodon’s poor header looped towards Zelarayan, who shifted the ball onto his right foot and found the bottom corner with unerring accuracy.
David Brooks fired over in reply and Neco Williams saw his effortRead on irishexaminer.com