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Posted On Tuesday, 14 June 2016 00:00 Written by
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Euro 2016

Wales took a long time coming but made the wait worth for all its fans. Chris Coleman side made an emphatic entry on the European stage with an opening game victory over Slovakia. Goals from Gareth Bale and Hal Robson-Kanu earned them a hard-fought but well-deserved 2-1 win.

Bale scores early for Wales

Wales started with Bale as the sole striker and it took just 10 minutes for them to open the scoring. Bale’s free-kick was well-struck but in no way meant to be in the back of the net. Matus Kozacik in the Slovakian goal made a grave error and gifted a lead to Wales. But Slovakia came strongly back into the game and dominated the possession for the rest of the half. A goal-line clearance from the Welsh defence denied Marek Hamsik an opportunity to level things up.


The second half started almost identical with Wales starting on the front foot. Bale could have doubled their lead but Kozacik made a fine save to keep Slovakia in the game. And it paid dividends when Ondrej Duda, who came as a substitute less than a minute earlier, on the hour mark. Slovakia pressed further and looked like scoring the decisive goal but Danny Ward kept Wales in the hunt with a fine string of saves. Another substitute, this time Wales’ Robson-Kanu converted a low finish to send his team and supporters into raptures. Wales held firm and ended up with a memorable victory.

Player of the game

Robson-Kanu started most of their qualifying matches as the lone striker but Coleman sprang a surprise by thrusting Bale into an advanced role. And when it only reaped mixed dividends, it was left to Robson-Kanu as a substitute to change the complexion of the game. He could have got an assist much earlier had it not been for a miss by Aaron Ramsey. But this was supposed to be Robson-Kanu’s day and he made sure of the win with a cool finish.

Read 926 times Last modified on Wednesday, 15 June 2016 15:23
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