Chris Gunter became Wales' most-capped player in Elbasan on Tuesday but Ryan Giggs' side could not mark the occasion with victory as they were beaten 1-0 by Albania.
Gunter made his international bow in 2007 and the goalless friendly saw him go past Neville Southall with 93 caps, a tally the 29-year-old could significantly add to before the end of his career.
A celebratory night in Cardiff might have a better way for the full-back to separate given there was very little to cheer for those fans who had made the journey.
Sam Vokes missed two glorious chances for Wales either side of the break and they proved costly as Bekim Balaj secured victory for Albania with a 58th-minute penalty.
Gunter's landmark night saw Wales make a positive start but finding a way through the Albanian defence proved harder than Scotland had found three days earlier.
Lively attacking duo David Brooks and Harry Wilson looked the most likely to threaten Etrit Berisha's goal, with the latter wasting Wales' best opportunity with a long-range free kick that drifted wide.
Taulant Xhaka was lucky to stay on the pitch just before the break as he appeared to move his head towards Brooks', but the officials only showed him a yellow card.
A flowing move – started by Wilson – eventually saw Joe Allen play in Vokes, but his low shot was easily saved by the alert Berisha.
Vokes failed again just after the restart as he proved unable to turn in Tom Lockyer's header from a yard out, the Burnley striker somehow finding the hands of the goalkeeper.
Despite dominating, Wales found themselves behind just before the hour when Wilson was adjudged to have pulled back Xhaka in the penalty area. Balaj made no mistake from 12 yards.
Even the introduction of Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale could not turn Wales' fortunes around as Giggs's men ended 2018 with back-to-back defeats.
What does it mean? Miserable end to Giggs' first year
Since succeeding Chris Coleman in January, Giggs has overseen only three wins from nine matches, losing four of the last five. Added to that, Wales also failed to earn promotion from the Nations League as they finished second in their group with Denmark and the Republic of Ireland.
Wasteful Vokes costs Wales
Vokes' poor form in front of goal for Wales continued after he failed to add to the three strikes he has to his name this year. Twice he should have beaten Berisha but unerringly found the keeper.
Xhaka's a lucky boy
It may have been a friendly but Xhaka was fortunate not to see red after clashing with Brooks, the midfielder pulling his rivals leg before appearing to headbutt the Bournemouth man.
Key Opta Facts
- Albania recorded their first ever win against Wales, having lost one and drawn one of their two previous meetings.
- Wales have won just one of their last 12 friendly matches (D3 L8), beating China 6-0 in March.
- Albania scored with their first shot on target of the match, a 58th minute penalty by Bekim Balaj.
With the next international break in March, both managers will have time to assess their options ahead of the European Championship qualifiers.
|Cowboys top Eagles in OT behind stellar Cooper display|
|AC Milan evaluating Fabregas signing – Leonardo|
|WATCH: Steelers´ chance at game-tying field goal slips away|
|Hayne will plead not guilty to charges, says lawyer|
|Boca boss Schelotto: The only thing I feel is sadness|
|Cardinals´ Fitzgerald makes NFL history with most receptions for one team|
|River Plate´s Copa Libertadores star Gonzalo Martinez confirms January departure|
|Klopp: I was never worried about Salah´s form|
|Packers QB Rodgers sets NFL record for most passes without an interception|
|World Cup bulking hampered Man United form – Lukaku|
|Leonardo rules out Ibrahimovic Milan return|
|Warriors´ Green to return against Timberwolves|
|I feel for him… we´ll make it work – Butler responds to Embiid´s frustration|
|Torino draw no missed opportunity for misfiring AC Milan, claims Gattuso|
|We´ll always be linked together forever - Wade reflects on playing with James before final match-up|
|O´Sullivan wins record seventh UK title|
|Chiefs secure playoff berth, Saints win NFC South|
|River Plate 3 Boca Juniors 1 (aet, 5-3 agg): Quintero and Martinez clinch Libertadores title in extr|
|WATCH: Chiefs QB Mahomes throws no-look pass|
|Dolphins defeat Patriots on miraculous final play|
|Kizzire eagle snatches QBE Shootout victory|
|AC Milan 0 Torino 0: Donnarumma shines, Cutrone misses late chance|
|Back to the drawing board for West Indies - Chase|
|Copa Libertadores: Messi and Griezmann among stars in Madrid for River-Boca Superclasico|
|Brady sets NFL record for most career TD passes|
|Copa Libertadores: Tevez named on Boca bench for Superclasico final|
|Premier League needs VAR, right now! - Benitez fumes over Dean´s decisions|
|McCall expects Itoje to fit for the Six Nations|
|Solari salutes Real Madrid character after ´ugly´ Huesca win|
|Berbatov defends under-fire Lukaku|
|Sarries crush Blues to maintain unbeaten start|
|Newcastle United 1 Wolves 2: Doherty punishes Yedlin red with late winner|
|Deeney jokes he´ll ´smash´ former Watford star Richarlison|
|Huesca 0 Real Madrid 1: Bale ends drought as Solari´s men edge to victory|
|Ponting: Umpires not looking at no-balls|
|Bale ends longest LaLiga goal drought|
|Porter backs Brees for MVP, Saints for Super Bowl|
|Verstappen eyeing 2019 title fight|
|Wall ´shouldn´t have played´ against Cavaliers after scoring just one point|
|Hazard: Man City the best team in the Premier League despite Chelsea win|
|LeBron explains why he gave a Grizzlies employee his game-worn shoes|
|Bangladesh cruise to ODI victory as seamers punish Windies|
|Football will win over violence, claims CONMEBOL president|
|Alcorcon support Reus Deportiu over unpaid players|
|Saponara explains cheeky celebration after last-gasp leveller|
|Godin and Filipe Luis return to Atletico training|
|Kick It Out condemns alleged racist abuse of Sterling|
|Emotional Oosthuizen clinches South African Open title|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 14|
|Martino salutes Atlanta´s grand plan|
|India´s tail must show greater application - Bangar|
|Mourinho: Diogo Dalot can be new Gary Neville|
|Sterling hits out at media coverage of black players|
|Lyon roars with defiance as Australia aim for unlikely victory|
|Bulls coach Boylen: Hooked starters ´embarrassing´ in record loss|
|Martinez pays tribute to Martino, Almiron after MLS Cup glory|
|LeBron: Final Wade matchup will be bittersweet|
|Alvarez-Kovalev rematch set for February 2|
|Newcastle Jets 2 Brisbane Roar 0: Sheppard, Jair score first A-League goals|
|India close in on victory in first Test|
|LeBron flirts with triple-double as Lakers down Grizzlies|
|Lomachenko unifies WBO, WBA titles with win over Pedraza|
|Joshua wants Wilder and Fury fights – Hearn|
|Mavericks rookie Doncic leads impressive fourth-quarter surge to beat Rockets|
|Martinez named MLS Cup MVP|
|Oklahoma´s Murray wins the Heisman Trophy|
|Atlanta United 2 Portland Timbers 0: Martinez scores again as Martino´s men win MLS Cup|
|Sarri to use Hazard as centre forward again|
|Ballon d´Or is a lie – Alba says Messi is world´s best|
|Messi: I needed some luck with free-kicks|