Wales delivered in their first game of the European Championships with a 2-1 win against Slovakia.
Gareth Bale opened their account ten minutes in with a free kick from several yards outside the box that curled into the left hand corner. It beat Matus Kozacik between the sticks for Slovakia, a lethal dip under the wall made the score line one to the good for the men in the red.
However in the 61 minute , Slovakia responded with Ondrej Duda finding a way through the Welsh defence. His first touch of the game was a good one, punishing the back four after they were caught napping. Robert Mak curled the ball into the path of Duda, who did the honours and scored.
Wales weren’t going down without a fight; super sub Hal Robson-Kanu got a touch on a through ball from Aaron Ramsey in the 81 minute, making the score 2-1.
Liverpool centre back Martin Skrtel was the centre of a big talking point as Wales player Jonathan Williams was bundled down by the captain in the box.
The referee Svein Oddvar Moen let Skrtel off lightly, many believe he should have seen a straight red.
His behaviour continued through the game; he only picked up a yellow at the end of the game because of a rash tackle.
The Ratings: Wales
Danny Ward: 6.5 The keeper didn’t have much to do in the first half and only a bit more in the second. Could have done better when conceding but didn’t have enough cover from the back line.
James Chester: 7 Solid and composed throughout the game and made some good tackles.
Ashley Williams: 7 Not as involved as he would like to have been, but was good in the air. The captain rallied his troops well!
Ben Davies: 8 Within the first few minutes Davies put himself on the line to defend the goal. Played some nice passes and tackled confidently.
Chris Gunter: 7 Could have got more credit for the team performance as he was overshadowed a bit on the wing. He nearly set up a Slovakia equaliser in the dying moments when he passed across goal- Other than that, a composed performance.
David Edwards: 6 His determination made him run out of steam in the second half and was substituted near the 70 minute.
Joe Allen: 8 The passing king; he made the most amount on the pitch. The work he did was not groundbreaking stuff, but was needed to build a strong base from midfield.
Neil Taylor: 6.5 Brought some energy to the game but should have gone in the book with a studs up tackle on Hamsik.
Jonathan Williams: 7.5 A menace in midfield but when it came to his attacking role Williams lacked the edge. Should have had a penalty in the first half- Nearly held off Skrtel in the challenge.
Gareth Bale: 9 Had several attempts and overall played well. Even though a goalkeeping error lead to his goal, the free kick had an incredible dip on it over the wall and it would have been hard to save.
Aaron Ramsey: 7.5 Had good vision to find Robson-Kanu to create the winner. Some nice balls on the wing and that’s about it for him!
Subs Joe Ledley: 7 Great comeback from him after breaking his leg. His fresh legs brought something to the team in the second half.
Hal Robson-Kanu: 8 The match winner got into some good spaces in the box and around the pitch. Yes, he may have scored with his shin- but it still got them the three points! Impacted the game well.
Jazz Richards: N/A He wasn’t on the pitch long enough for a rating, but he didn’t have much of an impact.
Matus Kozacik: 6 Ultimatley to fault for not saving the free kick; he took a few steps in the wrong direction beforehand. Otherwise he had an okay game.
Peter Pekaik: 5 Didn’t think was involved enough in the game and was quite quiet.
Martin Skrtel: 3 Should have been sent off for the tackle on J. Williams and I think he lost his head later on in the game. Not the best of performances from the captain.
Jan Durica: 6 Not the best of games for him, but he still made up for some of his and his teammates’ mistakes.
Dusan Svento: 5 The opposition to Bale and Ramsey most of the time, but could have pressed up te field more when in possession.
Juraj Kucka: 4.5 Could have got involved in the push more, except his early attempt which sailed over the crossbar. Later booked and subbed.
Patrik Hrosovsky: 5.5 The man that conceded the free kick that Bale scored. Given a harsh yellow card later on. Helped with the pressing and attacking a bit.
Robert Mak: 7 A beautifully crafted cross and run behind the Welsh back line lead to the goal. Quite threatening but later shown a yellow. Could have kept his composure more during the game.
Marek Hamsik: 6 Played well in the first half but had a quiet second. Had a good chance early on.
Vladimir Weiss: 6.5 Poor early on but improved later on but later improved. Don’t think he had much of an impact on the game.
Michal Duris: 5 Wasn’t at his best-Right to be subbed later on.
Subs Ondrej Duda: 7 Instanty made an impact on the game and you could see his motivation. One to watch against Russia and England!
Adam Nemac: 5 Didn’t make an impact on the game and didn’t bring anything new to the table.
Miroslav Stoch: N/A Didn’t play long enough to be able to be rated.Rate This Article