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Portugal vs Wales a few quick thoughts

  • Wales’ bid to reach the Euro 2016 final has fallen short at the final hurdle as Portugal got the better of last night’s Semi Final
  • Before the game it was billed as a clash if the two Galacticos with teammates Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale going head to head
  • And it would be Ronaldo who would end up on top
  • It was always going to be a big ask for Wales as they were without both Aaron Ramsey and Ben Davies due to suspension
  • Davies has been impressive playing in a back three than opposed to his usual left back spot. That could also mean good news for Tottenham as they may not have to fatten up the centre back ranks this Summer
  • But Ramsey’s absence was undoubtedly going to be a big blow to Chris Coleman’s plans
  • James Collins and Andy King were drafted in and although they were solid deputies they needed something a bit more spectacular if they were to get the better of Portugal
  • With both sides preferring to hit teams in the counter attack it was going to be interesting to see how they would match up against each other
  • The first half resembled something more of the early rounds of a boxing contest with both fighters feeling each other while sizing them up for the knockout blow later on
  • A first 45 minutes that was devoid of any real chances
  • Gareth Bale produced the only real shot in anger he was afforded the space to run  and shoot but his effort was well saved by Rui Patricio
  • Half time and in Boxing parlance Wales were just about ahead on points
  • Surely the second half had to be better
  • Then again Portugal hadn’t won a game in 90 minutes before last night so they were more than enabled to sit back for the prospect of extra time and even penalties
  • But that wasn’t to be required as soon after the restart who else Cristiano Ronaldo put Portugal in front
  • He is probably still in the air right now such was the height he hot from his standing jump
  • He left James Chester rooted as he leapt to power home a header from close range to give his side the lead and collect his 3rd goal of the tournament so far
  • Wales sent behind to Belgium and bounced back in astonishing fashion
  • It was going to require something similar now
  • Only Wales’ night went from bad to worse as Nani doubled Portugal’s advantage just minutes later
  • A wayward effort was going wide but the new Valencia man was on hand to stick a foot out and divert the ball past Wayne Hennessey to make it 2-0 on the night and all but game over
  • The second goal woke Wales up but by then it was too little too late
  • In a search to get back into the game they naturally left themselves exposed at the back and Hennessey to thank for letting the game get away from them
  • Gareth Bale try as he might was reduced to opportunistic efforts but nothing was coming off for the former Tottenham man
  • Wales had nothing left to offer and they could see their hopes of reaching the final fade away
  • And with that so did the game
  • The final whistle went and to the delight of the absent Pepe in the stands, Portugal had booked their place in the final
  • It may have seemed unlikely after their early performances but this Portuguese side have scrapped and clawed this way to Sunday’s final and right now you wouldn’t put it past them winning the competition
  • As for Wales they will undoubtedly to home as heroes
  • This is arguably the greatest Wales side ever
  • The key now I’d too make sure this isn’t a flash in the pan and they have to wait 58 years for another major tournament
  • With the crop of players that have you get the feeling they won’t have to wait too long

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