Wales qualified for their first major tournament in about 60 years and Gareth Bale ensured a sweat return to top stage when he put Wales 1-0 up in just 10th minute of the game. The goal came after absolute stunning freekick from Bale found its way back of the net leaving both Welsh players and fans buzzing. Slovakia however looked the better side of the two and finally got themselves back in the game when Ondrej Duda came on as sub to put Slovakia back on level terms.
Gareth Bale was the star as expected when he produced a moment of magic putting Wales 1-0 up in just 10th minute with a scorching freekick which rocket past Slovakia keeper. Ondrej Duda equalized after the break but a late goal from Hal Robson-Kanu won the game for Wales.
Wales 2-1 Slovakia – Group B
[ UEFA European Championship 2016 ]
10′ 1 – 0 Gareth Bale put his name in the history book becoming the first Wales player to score in a major final in more than 50 years.
61′ 1 – 1 Ondrej Duda equalized after the break for Slovakia.
81′ 2 – 1 Hal Robson-Kanu won the game for Wales late in second half with a neatly taken finish from close range.
Both Slovakia and Wales has qualified for the first time in the major european international tournament. Largely down to UEFA extended number of teams participating in the finals. Both these teams has meet twice in the European qualifiers back in 2008 and Slovakia record a 5-1 win over Wales in Cardiff but the Welsh took immediate revenge beating them 5-2 in their own backyward. Gareth Bale’s has been inspirational for Wales scoring 64% of his team’s goals in the qualifying and its similar story with Marek Hamsik who ended as top scorer for Slovakia in their qualifying campaign.
Team News & Lineups: Several Wales players have recovered from their niggles and minor injuries. Joe Allen is expected to start having retain full fitness while Joe Ledley who broke his leg back in early May has made a remarkable recovery and might find place on the bench.
Slovakia on the other hand will be without their talisman and all time top scorer Robert Vittek which paves the way for either Duris or Nemec to spearhead the attack. This is how I expect both teams to lineup on Saturday.
Match Predictions: It is poised to be a competitive game between very evenly matched sides. Wales depend heavily on Gareth Bale’s form while Slovakia will be counting on their captain Marek Hamsik in high stakes game. Both teams know a win will go a long way in their quest to reach knockout stages. A defeat won’t necessarily put curtains on qualification hopes but it will put massive pressure on the losing team who will have to win both of their remaining games to seal the qualification.