Gareth Bale and his Wales side created magic against Italy

Spread the love

The captain of Wales national team, Gareth Bale, and his teammates had to fight for 90 minutes to qualify for the second round of the ongoing Euro 2020 even though they were playing with 10 men for most parts of the second half.

Naturally, in Wales’ Euro 2020 last Group A game which was against Italy, Wales were already seen as the underdogs which means that Italy were expected to defeat them handsomely.

As expected, Italy took the lead in the 39th minute thanks to Matteo Pessina’s strike. From that point onward, Wales tried to get back into the game as Gareth Bale squandered a couple of chances.

The first half ended 1-0. At this point, Switzerland who were occupying the third spot in Group A were beating bottom-placed Turkey 2-0. This meant that Wales had to be careful not to concede more goals in the second half because the only advantage they had over the Swiss team was a superior goal difference.

Hence, when the second half started, Gareth Bale and his team were condemned to look for goals, while they tried not to concede more goals against a formidable team like Italy that have not tasted a draw or a loss in their last 11 games.

See also  Gareth Bale’s rollercoaster ride on Real Madrid bench

Unfortunately for Wales, they encountered the worst setback in the 55th minute when Walsh and Chelsea defender, Ethan Ampadu was shown a straight red for his late challenge on Federico Bernardeschi.

Wales Ethan Ampadu's late tackle on Federico Bernardeschi.
Picture of Ethan Ampadu’s late tackle on Federico Bernardeschi.

With this setback and with the news that Switzerland was leading Turkey 3-1 in the other Group A game that was played simultaneously, Gareth Bale and his teammates had no choice but to defend for the rest of the 35 minutes of the match to avoid conceding more goals.

After a hard-earned 1-0 defeat at the Stadio Olimpico, Italy finished the first round of Euro 2020 as Group A leaders while Wales finished the group stage behind Italy with just a goal difference between them and third-placed Switzerland.

Gareth Bale.
Gareth Bale.

“We knew it was going to be a very difficult game from the start,” Bale told ITV. “There was a lot of defending, a lot of running, and a lot of tired bodies out there. I’m proud of the boys.

“We wanted to try and get a result, but I guess it made no difference [as] we finished second anyway.

See also  Real Madrid won 35th La Liga Title ... making Carlo Ancelotti the first manager to win the league in all five of Europe's major leagues

“It [Ampadu red card] was unfortunate but we had to dig deep. We had to make sure we didn’t concede as many as possible, but the five-goal swing was there.

“We wanted to try and get a result, but I guess it made no difference [as] we finished second anyway.

“It [Ampadu red card] was unfortunate but we had to dig deep. We had to make sure we didn’t concede as many as possible, but the five-goal swing was there.

“We’ll get a little bit of a break now, patch everyone up, and get going again.”

While the manager of Wales, Robert Page said: “Of course Ethan is disappointed. He’s a young lad and he wants to be part of this major tournament. This will hamper that.

“I haven’t seen it back, but I thought it was a harsh decision at the time. I thought it might have been a yellow.

“It’s tough enough with 11 men but having 10 gave us an even bigger hill to climb.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the boys. They’ve had to dig deep and they’ve got the job done.

See also  Gareth Bale exit: Real Madrid Makes things difficult

“I knew Switzerland were winning 2-0 at half-time, but my full focus was on keeping the lads focused and motivated.

“There were some massive performances out there and the lads thoroughly deserve all the plaudits having got that second spot.”

As it stands, Wales will take on Group B runners up which could be Denmark, Finland, or Russia in the round of 16. The match will take place in Amsterdam on Saturday, June 26, 2021.

While Switzerland will have to wait for all the group games in the tournament to be completed to ascertain whether they will be considered as one of the best losers of the group stage to scale through to the round of 16.

Watch Wales vs Italy headlights below:

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: