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Wales vs Slovakia a few quick thoughts

  • You wait 58 years to play in a major tournament and what a way to end that wait
  • Wales went into this tournament with nothing to lose and after yesterday’s performance they will have nothing to fear
  • Top of the group after the opening games and realistically a draw against England on Thursday could secure qualification
  • But Chris Coleman’s side won’t just want to worry about sneaking in as one the 4 best 3rd place teams they will certainly feel they can go on and win the group
  • Although the party almost got off to the worst possible start when Marek Hamsik had the freedom of Bordeaux and danced through the Wales defence to seemingly slot home a finish of Maradona 1986 proportions
  • But Ben Davies was on hand to perform a crucial goal-line clearance much to the delight of the travelling Welsh fans who didn’t stop singing from minute 1 to minute 90
  • If that was a let off for Wales then just 7 minutes later they were in lift off
  • Gareth Bale….who else, was presented with a free kick at the edge of the box and he wasn’t going to turn down an offer like that
  • Matus Kozacik offered up far too much of the goal and Gareth Bale fully exploited that as the ball nestled into the Slovakia net to put Wales ahead and the fans into dreamland
  • Martin Skrtel was doing his best WWE performance throughout the game how Wales weren’t awarded a Penalty when Jonny Williams was forearmed smashed in the box is a mystery
  • It once again raises the question as to what the official behind the goal line actually does
  • Skrtel was ran ragged all game but his roughhouse tactics just about got him through the game, although he did look a calamity in all fairness
  • Wales went in search of a second before the break but they couldn’t convert their chances into a second
  • After the break Slovakia had more of the game and looked the most likely to score next
  • Ondrej Duda was the supersub, he was only on the pitch for a minute and he silenced the Wales fans for the first time of the afternoon as he slotted home from close range to level the scores at 1-1
  • Wales had to then weather the storm and make sure their heads didn’t drop and give Slovakia the perfect opportunity to turn the game around
  • If Jan Kozak had made an inspired substitution it was time for Chris Coleman to make his own
  • David Edwards who didn’t stop running in the 70 minutes he played was subbed off for the bionic man Joe Ledley who had only broke a leg a month previously while Jonny Williams was subbed off for Hal Robson-Kanu
  • And 10 minutes the role of the dice played dividends
  • Aaron Ramsey found himself in space at the edge of the box, he looked to thread a through ball but it came off his shin
  • But fortune was favouring the Welsh as the ball perfectly fell at the feet of Robson-Kanu
  • He didn’t get a perfect contact with it either but it still ended up rolling past Kozacik and into the Slovakian net
  • It may not have been the prettiest winner but frankly no one connected with Wales would have cared
  • It was delirium for the Welsh fans
  • Robson-Kanu may be without a club at present but that goal will surely mean there will be a queue of clubs competing for his signature after the tournament
  • Wales rode out the last 10 minutes and credit must go to Ben Davies who playing in more central defensive role was clearly man of the match
  • But Wales could have half dozen people up for that award
  • It was a fantastic team effort and confidence will be sky high as they now prepare for England on Thursday
  • The Battle Of Britain awaits

 

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