Wales’s Kieffer Moore keeps Euro 2020 hopes alive against Slovakia

first_img 13 Moore 4 Davies 3 Taylor 1 Hennessey Jonny Williams was wiped out by Milan Skriniar in the 24th minute but, instead of appealing for a free-kick, Connor Roberts delivered a dangerous cross for Gareth Bale to crane his neck and send a header crashing against the crossbar.The aerial tactics had just begun. A minute later Dan James used his lightning pace to manoeuvre away from Peter Pekarik before delivering a perfect cross for Moore, who rewarded Giggs’s brave selection by heading the ball back across Martin Dubravka and into the net for his first international goal.Williams felt he should have been awarded a penalty after he was chopped down by Norbert Gyomber before James and Bale unleashed shots on target, but Wales were content to head in at half-time with a 1-0 lead.Wales began the second half in the same positive fashion as the first, but their hard work was undone by a momentary lapse. Roberts thought he had cleared the danger from Pekarik’s curling cross only to see Kucka advance on to the ball and unleash an unstoppable volley into the bottom corner. Twitter 22 Matondo Slovakia 9 Vokes 16 Lockyer Read more Ethan Ampadu blocks Robert Mak’s shot. Photograph: Michael Zemanek/BPI/REX/Shutterstock Match stats 8 Roberts WAL SVK Scotland’s slender Euro 2020 automatic qualification hopes ended by Russia WAL31SVK69% Wales 5 Rodon Share on Messenger 8 Duda 12 Ward 9 12 11 Bero 10 Wilson 1 Dubravka 19 Lawrence 3 Gyomber 14 Skriniar 16 Hancko 19 Kucka 5 Satka 20 James 9 Bozenik 2 Pekarik 7 Haraslin 21 Davies Slovakia Lineups 6 Gregus Corners Euro 2020 qualifying 11 Bale (s 66′) (s 79′) 5 5 23 Greifcenter_img 18 Safranko Reuse this content 12 Kozacik Share on Twitter 31 69 Facebook Goal attempts 2 Gunter Share via Email 4 Valjent 23 Vaulks 7 Allen Substitutes 17 Williams Northern Ireland hopes slip after Memphis Depay double for Netherlands 20 Mak 15 Mazan (s 58′) Possession 13 Hrosovsky 15 Ampadu 9 Slovakia Off target 9 Wales 4 Slovakia On target 6 Wales 21 Duris 10 Rusnak The equaliser seemed to drain the positivity within the Wales ranks as the hosts pressed for a second. Wayne Hennessey had to react at full stretch to deny Albert Rusnak’s low drive before Kucka went within inches of scoring a second.Joe Rodon diverted a James free-kick towards goal but was denied by a crucial intervention from Gyomber as the game entered the final 10 minutes. The Slovakia defender was sent off for a second yellow card three minutes from time to give Wales hope of snatching a winner but in the end they will see the draw as a point gained heading into key games against Croatia and, next month, Azerbaijan and Hungary. Substitutes A Juraj Kucka volley restored parity and had Wales battling Slovakia pressure but they held on for a point that leaves them needing at least two more wins from their final three Group E matches.“I do think we took a step forward with the performance, especially defensively,” Giggs said. “It’s always fine margins, in this group especially, it’s about taking chances and being competitive. Now we have a better head to head than Slovakia but you still have to capitalise on that.“Kieffer was a handful all night. I am really pleased with the goal and overall really pleased with his performance. He occupies the two centre-halves and he gives us a different option. He took a few knocks. It was a real competitive game. Two teams wanting to win and not taking a backwards step.”If Wales beating Slovakia had become predictable in recent years, Giggs’s team selections remained anything but. However, he may finally have settled on a starting XI before the vital match against Croatia on Sunday after his players stuck to his plan diligently and delivered a mature performance.Giggs had some senior scholars such as the captain Ashley Williams at his disposal but instead opted to blood a host of freshers in this must-not-lose game in the university city of Trnava. The Charlton defender Tom Lockyer was handed a competitive debut after a run of six friendly appearances to take the total number of defensive changes to 16 in Giggs’s nine competitive matches in charge. Wigan’s Moore was chosen to lead the line in what proved to be an inspired selection.Wales survived an early scare after Lockyer gifted possession for Marek Hamsik to set up Robert Mak, but Ethan Ampadu came to the rescue with a last-ditch block. Wales replied with a flurry of attacks that could prove crucial in the qualification race. Wales 17 Hamsik 22 Lobotka Share on Pinterest (s 86′) Fouls Share on Facebook Euro 2020 14 Roberts Kieffer Moore, a former lifeguard, saved Wales’s Euro 2020 qualification hopes from drifting into troubled waters with a goal that spared them a crushing defeat in Slovakia.The 6ft 5in striker, who has had to fight tooth and nail from non-league to reach this stage, repaid Ryan Giggs’s faith by using all his frame to head Wales in front during a faultless first-half performance on his competitive international debut. match reports 18 Morrell Pinterest Topics 6 Williams Share on WhatsApp Read more Share on LinkedInlast_img

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