The Time Mark Hughes Inspired Wales To Spank Spain 3-0

The Time Mark Hughes Inspired Wales To Spank Spain 3-0
13:37, 11 Oct 2018

The fortunes of the Wales and Spain national teams have diverged fairly sharply since, on a fateful night in Wrexham back in 1985, the Dragons slapped their Iberian visitors 3-0 in front of a vocal home support at the Racecourse Ground.

While they would eventually go on to fall short of qualifying for the next summer’s World Cup, the performances of Messrs Rush, Hughes et al. are well-remembered and perhaps not matched for three decades after that night, during the heady days of the Chris Coleman reign.

Ian Rush put the home side ahead on the day, worming onto a long ball amid chaos in the Spanish area and slotting home, but it would be Mark Hughes’ goal on the night that would be remembered best and it’s story recounted most.

Not long into the second half Hughes, now of course manager of Southampton, saw a high ball hang in the air above him after a free kick was launched into the box and hit an instinctive sort of semi-scissor kick that catapulted into the top corner of the Spanish net, Roy of the Rovers style.

Hughes himself went on to manage his nation, taking them, once more, to the cusp of qualification for a major tournament but just falling short.

As a desperately inexperienced home side line up under new-ish manager Ryan Giggs tonight at Principality Stadium, they’ll face a side that’s swept all before them since the start of the millennium, but the chance will remain for one of their number to watch their own piece of history into the annals of Welsh football tonight.