Coming into this game the stakes were obvious and the stakes, clearly, were incredibly high. Wales and Hungary tussled it out for the right to officially book their ticket to UEFA Euro 2020 next year, and in the end, the Welsh managed to get the job done in Cardiff by beating the visitors 2-0 and confirming that they will compete at the European Championships for the second time in a row.
Forcing the issue
Whether or not they’re able to replicate their success from Euro 2016 is a different matter altogether, because for now, fans and media members alike are more interested in praising this squad and praising Ryan Giggs for the work he’s been able to do with the national team. They didn’t really seem to have much of a direction when he arrived, but now, the direction is clear: shock the world at the Euros once again.
There was a sensational atmosphere in Cardiff for the biggest game in Wales this year, and it was clear to see the hosts were well up for the challenge. Aaron Ramsey was finally able to start for the first time in the qualification campaign for the Welsh, and he made it count after heading in Gareth Bale’s cross to hand his side an early lead – sending the fans into a state of ecstasy.
Later on in the half came one of the defining moments of the game as Wayne Hennessey made one of the best double saves of the year, preventing the Hungarians from getting themselves back into the game. Then, early on in the second half, Ramsey was able to get his brace with a lovely effort that put Wales in cruise control.
Bale almost added a third goal to proceedings as Wales continued to batter Hungary from pillar to post, not allowing their opponents to breathe in any way, shape or form. The final whistle blew and the home supporters rejoiced, knowing that they could sit back and relax as the preparations for next year’s tournament begin. They’ve still got a lot of work left to do, but this is the bright spark they needed to get the national team back on track.
Wales: Hennessey (8), Davies (8), Mepham (7), Lockyer (7), Roberts (7), Morrell (6.5), Allen (8), James (7), Ramsey (9), Bale (9), Moore (8), Wilson (6.5), Ampadu (6.5)
Hungary: Gulacsi (6.5), Lovrencsics (6), Barath (7), Lang (6.5), Z.Nagy (6.5), Patkai (6.5), A.Nagy (6), Dzsudzsak (6.5), Szoboszlai (6), Sallai (6), Szalai (6.5), Holender (6), Kovacs (6), Varga (6)
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan
Goals: Ramsey x2
Yellow Cards: Lockyer, James, Patkai, Kovacs
Red Cards: N/A
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