Wales lose in Speed memorial match

Wales have crashed to a 1-0 defeat in their international friendly against Costa Rica, in a night that the nation remembered former manager Gary Speed.

Before the game several Welsh artists performed, Speed’s sons Ed and Tom led the team out onto the pitch, and a minute’s applause was undertaken before the match.

Joel Campbell, on loan at Lorient from Arsenal, scored the only goal of the game to spoil affairs, and manager Chris Coleman has admitted that it was an emotional night for all concerned.

“It was always going to be difficult under the circumstances, it was not our normal preparation,” Coleman told Sky Sports.

“This was about one guy and it was important we were there to show our support and celebrate his life.

“His two boys have come into the dressing room and onto the pitch and you could see why he was so proud of them.

“It was a strange atmosphere because we were still grieving, but at the same time we had a game to win. At the start we weren’t really at the races. We had a couple of chances after that but the main reason for tonight was for Speeds.

“I commend the players, they did their best, but I knew we were going to start slow.

“They’ve been a terrific bunch but they all miss Speeds. We lost on the night but we gave it what we had,” he concluded.

By Gareth McKnight