It would have been absolutely the perfect night... the perfect way... to say goodbye to one of the country's footballing legends, had the Welsh national team managed even a draw against the Costa Ricans, on Wednesday night at Cardiff.

Unfortunately for the hosts, Joel Campbell's seventh minute strike was enough to give Costa Rica a win.

Nevertheless, let it not be said that the Welsh did not fight or did not deserve at least a draw. The night was always going to be a very difficult one for the home side and so it proved. The emotionally-charged atmosphere at the Cardiff City Stadium was heightened by events organised to commemorate Gary Speed, the national team manager until he died, under tragic circumstances, last year. The highlight of the evening was the sight of Speed's two young sons leading the Welsh team out on to the pitch, alongside captain Craig Bellamy.

The match started with a minute's silence in honour of Speed, who enjoyed a stellar club career with several big Premier League clubs, including Newcastle United and played for his country 85 times.

On the pitch, Wales were further weakened by the loss of two crucial players - Gareth Bale (Tottenham) and Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal). As it turned out, it was to be an Arsenal man, again, who would break Welsh hearts. Campbell, on loan at Lorient from the Gunners, scored inside the opening ten minutes. The young striker was picked out by an inch-perfect pass from Bryan Ruiz and stand-in keeper Lewis Price had no chance.

Bellamy tried responding for Wales and did force a save out of Navas, the Costa Rican keeper. Unfortunately, a combination of poor tactical awareness and an in-form Campbell meant Wales were on the defensive more often than they would have liked.

In the end, despite chances for Bellamy, Robson-Kanu and Joe Allen - and a much-improved second half performance from the hosts - Wales were left trailing by the Campbell goal at the final whistle.

Check out photographs of some of the action from the game...

Wales' captain Craig Bellamy (2nd L) stands with the sons of Gary Speed before their international friendly soccer match against Costa Rica at the Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, February 29, 2012.Reuters
Wales' captain Craig Bellamy (C) embraces the sons of Gary Speed before their international friendly soccer match against Costa Rica at the Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, February 29, 2012. The match is being played in memory of former Wales manager Gary Speed.Reuters
Costa Rica's Randall Azofeifa (2nd L) challenges Wales' Joe Allen (R) during their international friendly soccer match at the Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, February 29, 2012. The match is being played in memory of former Wales manager Gary Speed.Reuters
Costa Rica's Randall Azofeifa (L) challenges Wales' Hal Robson-Kanu during their international friendly soccer match at the Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, February 29, 2012. The match is being played in memory of former Wales manager Gary Speed.Reuters
Costa Rica's Michael Barrantes (R) challenges Wales' Hal Robson-Kanu during their international friendly soccer match at the Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, February 29, 2012. The match is being played in memory of former Wales manager Gary Speed.Reuters
Costa Rica's Joel Campbell celebrates his goal against Wales during their international friendly soccer match at the Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, February 29, 2012. The match is being played in memory of former Wales manager Gary Speed.Reuters
Costa Rica's Michael Barrantes (R) challenges Wales' Andrew Crofts during their international friendly soccer match at the Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, February 29, 2012. The match is being played in memory of former Wales manager Gary Speed.Reuters
Wales' Sam Ricketts wears the nickname of Gary Speed on his boot during their international friendly soccer match against Costa Rica at the Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, February 29, 2012. The match is being played in memory of former Wales manager Gary Speed.Reuters