In what many considered to be one of the most important games of the night in the WCQ qualifiers, Wales were able to surprise many by beating Czech Republic to boost their hopes of reaching the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The one and only goal of the game came in the final 10 minutes with Daniel James popping up to give the Welsh something to really sink their teeth into as the campaign to get the nation back into international football’s biggest tournament continues.
Between the two red cards and the many tough challenges that went in throughout the course of the night, we’d say this is one of the liveliest qualifiers we’ve seen in recent times. Wales and Czech Republic both really went for it and if there were fans in the stadium, you can imagine there would’ve been a scrap or two in the stands. These are two nations who want to prove themselves on the world stage and they’ll do anything to get there.
Wales dig deep
The visitors were the ones dictating the pace in the first half but Wales also had their moments, even if they couldn’t quite get out of their own way. Then, when the three points were well and truly up for grabs in the final 10 minutes, the Welsh were the ones who dug deep and produced the kind of finish they needed. It wasn’t perfect by any stretch but it gives them something to build on heading into the summer.
The qualification race
Both of these countries have the rescheduled Euro 2020 to focus on in the next few months but towards the end of 2021, that focus will immediately shift back to the World Cup and what they can do to get there. Right now these are the two teams who are right behind Belgium in the race to qualify from Group E with the expectation largely being that the playoffs would be required for either to get there. Wales looked good last night but as we all know, this is a marathon, not a sprint – and building consistency takes time in the international sphere.
Wales: Ward (7), Lawrence (6.5), Rodon (7.5), Mepham (6.5), Williams (7), Ampadu (7), Morrell (6.5), Roberts (4.5), James (8), Wilson (6.5), Bale (7.5), Moore (6.5), Williams (6.5)
Czech Republic: Vaclik (6.5), Coufal (6.5), Kudela (6.5), Celustka (7), Boril (7.5), Holes (6.5), Soucek (7.5), Provod (6), Darida (6.5), Jankto (6.5), Schick (4.5), Masopust (6), Barak (6), Krmencik (6), Kaderábek (6), Vydra (6)
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan
Yellow Cards: Lawrence, Roberts x2, Jankto
Red Cards: Roberts, Schick
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