Wales manager Ryan Giggs selected a largely inexperienced side ahead of this evening’s friendly international against Spain.
Without the ‘muscle-fatigued’ figurehead of Gareth Bale at his disposal, prior to kick off, Giggs urged his young players to treat his absence as an opportunity to shine.
Back at the newly named Principality Stadium for the first time since facing England there in a qualifier back in 2011, Giggs had asked for the stadium roof to be closed to intensify the atmosphere.
Certainly, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau was rousing enough but sadly it all went downhill for the home side soon after.
Only eight minutes into the game, Spain opened the scoring through Paco Alcacer, adding a second when Sergio Ramos headed home on 19 minutes after Chris Gunter conceded a free kick in a dangerous area.
The game was effectively over as a contest before the half an hour mark when Alcacer ignored his injured teammate in the area to slot the ball home past Wayne Hennessey.
Wales, whose initial game plan seemed to have been to press Spain and force them backwards, looked hopelessly out of their depth.
Giggs made changes for the second half, bringing on James Chester and David Brooks to replace Ashley Williams and Harry Wilson but it wasn’t long before Wales fell further behind, this time to a headed goal from Spain substitute Marc Bartra.
The introduction of Tom Lawrence and Matthew Smith injected a spark late on before Wales finally managed to pull a late goal back through Sam Vokes, who had worked tirelessly and without much reward upfront all night.
Post-match, Giggs said he was disappointed, feeling that his side were punished as a result of not performing the basics well enough. Particularly upset at the manner in which Wales conceded the first two goals from set pieces, he nevertheless remained upbeat about their upcoming match in Dublin next week where he insists his team will come back stronger.