World Cup qualifying Group 4: Finland 2-1 Wales: Craig Bellamy's milestone not enough for Wales

Craig Bellamy became Wales' fifth-highest all-time scorer but his goal in Helsinki could not prevent defeat against Finland in their World Cup qualifier

Craig Bellamy created a piece of Wales football history for himself but could not inspire his side to a victory that would have kept alive their hopes of finishing third in World Cup qualifying Group Four.

Bellamy's first-half equaliser was his 17th for his country and he is now Wales' fifth highest all-time scorer.

Finland led early on through Roni Porokara and grabbed a late winner from defender Niklas Moisander as Wales let the game slip away with a disappointing second-half display.

And their problems for Wednesday's match in Liechtenstein were compounded by yellow cards for Bellamy and Wayne Hennessey that mean the pair are banned from the final group match.

Wales were able to name only four substitutes because of their chronic injury problems, Robert Earnshaw the latest casualty. In a barely half-full stadium, with a noisy 750 from the Principality, Finland got off to the perfect start with a goal after just five minutes. Dreadful defending by Wales allowed Jonatan Johansson in on the right to skip round James Collins before seeing a low shot palmed straight out into the area by Hennessey. Porokara had the simple task of guiding the ball home from 12 yards.

Wales gathered themselves after more shaky defending to equalise after 17 minutes. Gareth Bale sent David Vaughan racing down the left, and when his cross arrived in the box, Bellamy had spun away from Sami Hyypia to beat Jussi Jaaskelainen from close in. The goal means only Ian Rush, Ivor Allchurch, Trevor Ford and Dean Saunders have scored more for Wales than Bellamy.

Paul Walker

The GuardianTramp

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