The group stage of UEFA Euro 2020 is starting to heat up with the majority of nations still feeling like they’ve got a real chance of qualifying for the knockout stage. We’ve seen everything from surprise results to world class goals and everything in between, which is a trend we hope continues.
Last night, Turkey and Wales went to war in Baku in a game that wound up being as dramatic as you’d expect – ending in a 2-0 win for the Welsh.
Wales had chance after chance after chance both in the first and second half and with a few minutes remaining, it was starting to feel as if a Turkey equaliser was imminent. Alas, they stuck to their guns, got the second goal and put the game on ice, which is the sort of resilience you need at this level. They may not reach the depths of the semi-finals but if they keep this tenacity up, there’s every chance they can give some bigger nations a real bloody nose.
Turkey were being pinpointed as a dark horse to watch in this tournament but the end result has been, well, the opposite. They were battered by Italy and now, they’ve been humbled by Wales. There’s still an outside shot of them qualifying for the Round of 16 if they can spring a surprise result against Switzerland, but based on the evidence we’ve seen thus far, a less than inspiring draw feels like the most obvious outcome.
The Bale dilemma
Gareth Bale assisted both goals and created plenty of other chances throughout the game – but he also smashed a penalty over the bar that could’ve given Wales a comfortable 2-0 advantage. We aren’t suggesting he’s not in the right headspace because the two assists prove that’s not the case, but if the Welsh are serious about trying to go far in this tournament as they did back in 2016, Bale needs to find his scoring boots. Moving forward, this is going to be a really interesting storyline to keep an eye on as Bale’s push for Welsh glory goes on.
Turkey: Cakir (7), Meras (6.5), Soyuncu (7), Ayhan (6.5), Celik (6), Yokuslu (6), Karaman (6), Calhanoglu (6.5), Tufan (6), Under (6.5), Yilmaz (6), Muldur (6), Demiral (6.5), Dervisoglu (6), Yazici (6.5), Kahveci (6)
Wales: Ward (7.5), Roberts (8), Mepham (7.5), Rodon (7), Davies (7), Allen (6.5), James (8), Morrell (8), Ramsey (8), Bale (8.5), Moore (7.5), Williams (6), Wilson (6.5), Ampadu (6.5)
Referee: Artur Manuel Soares Dias
Goals: Ramsey, Roberts
Yellow Cards: Calhanoglu, Yilmaz, Mepham, Davies
Red Cards: N/A
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