Group B in Euro 2016 had turned out to be rather interesting when it went into its final round of matches yesterday. With all the teams (Wales, UK, Russia and Slovakia) having a chance of qualification, it was anybody’s game actually. Here is an analysis of the Wales v/s Russia game:
Arguably the better game of the 2 tonight. Wales didn’t take much time to come to the party, with Joe Allen delivering an inch-perfect pass to Aaron Ramsey who chipped it coolly over the keeper to score.
With 20 minutes on the clock, Wales was able to open Russia’s defence again. This time, it was Gareth Bale with an inch perfect pass to Neil Taylor who scored his maiden international goal.
After getting the lead, the Welsh team was just happy to sit back and allow the Russians to come at them. Ashley Williams and Co. did a magnificent job at the back with Gareth Bale the lead orchestrator of the counter attacks.
He also got on the scoresheet in the second half, this time due to an assist from Aaron Ramsey, making the score 3-0.
Russia barely looked like having the intent to score, their closest chance being a one-on-one in the first half when Hennessey making a great save to deny them.
But at the back, they never really looked solid. Even during the counters, they allowed the Welsh players to come at them till the very end. And by the end of it, all it took was one pass to cut through them each time a goal was scored.
But one should appreciate how good the Wales team was. For me, Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen and Gareth Bale stood out in the attack. Even the crowd played its part, singing a soulful rendition of the Welsh National Anthem in each half to motivate their players.
Conclusion? Wales deserved to qualify as much as Russia deserved not to.
With England and Slovakia playing out a draw, Wales ended the group as table toppers, while Russia remained at the bottom. Wales will be joined by England in the quarterfinals.
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