In a clash of two British sides vying to make their first entry to the quarter finals, Wales came out on top edging their neighbors Northern Ireland 1-0 in a tight encounter. This Euro 2016 round of 16 match did not have many goals or great action but the tense affair was a treat to watch.
All the pre-match talk was centered around the Welsh superstar Gareth Bale who was expected to do the star turn for Chris Coleman’s side. But, he was put under check by the Northern Irish who did a great job in stifling him and the creative midfield of Wales. Chances were few and far between and it looked like going into extra time to find a winner. But Bale showed his class by sending a teasing cross into the box which was put into the Irish goal by their defender Gareth McAuley.
To be fair to MacAuley, the ball was destined to be a goal as McAuley was just shielding it from reaching a diving Welsh winger. It was a cruel way for McAuley to end his tournament in this manner after his impressive displays thus far.
Wales v Northern Ireland - EUro 2016 Player of the game
It was a tense affair between these two teams which is understandable considering their maiden entry into the knockouts. Bale was supposed to be the difference but he was put under constant pressure by the Irish. His whipping free kick and some quick runs on the wing were the lone highlights of what was a dull affair. In the end it was the quality of his pass that forced McAuley to divert the ball into the goal.