At the age of 27, Paul Dummett made his first ever start for Wales.
Ryan Giggs’ team would win their Nations League group if they could beat Denmark on Friday night.
However, inside 40 minutes it was a massive setback for the Geordie defender and for Wales.
A 39th minute tackle saw Paul Dummett booked, but worse than that, he was forced from the pitch with an injury.
The Newcastle player had put in his usual steady performance in defence, as usual letting others take responsibility to try and do stuff going forward.
Within seconds of Dummett going off it was disaster for Wales, his replacement Chris Gunter had charged up the pitch as the Welsh attacked, only for the Danes to win back possession and with Gunter stranded up the pitch, the visitors ruthlessly exploited the depleted numbers at the back and alleged former Newcastle target Nicolai Jorgensen scored his first international goal in over a year.
Despite playing well and creating some decent chances, Wales weren’t able to recover, Middlesbrough’s Martin Braithwaite making it 2-0 with two minutes to go and Bale’s response seconds later was only a consolation goal.
More importantly, Rafa Benitez now has to wait and see how serious the injury is to Paul Dummett, a big problem with no really credible replacement available if needed.
The defence had been the cornerstone of Newcastle’s recent revival, seven points from three matches with only one goal conceded in over four and a half hours of Premier League football.
Extract from Wales Online match report:
Wales were very much in the ascendancy, but at international level you can be punished in an instant and that’s what happened just before half-time as the Danes began to finally get a foothold in the game and started to look menacing themselves going forward.
Welsh veteran Chris Gunter had just come on for the injured Paul Dummett, filling in at left-back and equalling Neville Southall’s 92-match appearance record – a truly phenomenal achievement.
Adrenaline doubtless running, Gunter quickly rampaged forward but Denmark won the ball back and countered into the gap left down his side. Ashley Williams was dragged out of position to cover, but that meant a huge space for Jorgensen to run into and he made no mistake one on one with Wayne Hennessey.
Newcastle United players on international duty:
Wednesday 14 November
Switzerland 0 Qatar 1 (Fabian Schar played full 90 minutes)
Thursday 15 November
England 3 USA 0 (DeAndre Yedlin played the full 90 minutes)
Italy Under 21s 2 England Under 1 (Freddie Woodman stayed on the bench)
Friday 16 November
Japan 1 Venezuela 1 (Salomon Rondon played the opening 66 minutes)
Slovakia 4 Ukraine 1 (Martin Dubravka played the full 90 minutes)
Wales 1 Denmark 2 (Paul Dummett went off injured on 39 minutes)
Sunday 18 November
Switzerland v Belgium (Fabian Schar)
Monday 19 November
Czech Republic v Slovakia (Martin Dubravka)
Italy v USA – Neutral venue Genk, Belgium (DeAndre Yedlin)
Tuesday 20 November
Iran v Venezuela – Neutral venue Qatar (Salomon Rondon)
Denmark Under 21s v England Under 21s (Freddie Woodman)
Albania v Wales (Paul Dummett)