At some point it did not look good at all for the Wales national football team, struggling in their first games of the Euro 2020 qualification group. It was Gareth Bale’s late winner at home against Azerbaijan that turned the tide and kept Wales hopes alive – even if they only drew then on the road against Slovakia and at home against Croatia, the eventual winners of the group. There couldn’t have been a better ending for the qualification tournament than the final match against Hungary, where the winner would automatically qualify for Euro 2020.
Even if the playoff-system would’ve provided Wales with a safety net in case of a loss, the Dragons made certain they’re not looking for mercy but want to qualify by beating their rivals fair and square. Fully packed Cardiff City Stadium saw the hosts come in with determination and swagger, which left the visiting Hungary team completely disarmed. Welsh trio on top of the midfield featuring Daniel James, Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey was a constant threat and pain in the Hungarian’s side and it took only 15 minutes for the Welsh superstar duo to find the net. Gareth Bale took on the Hungarian defender on the right flank and sent in a swirling left-footed cross from the byline, which perfectly found unmarked Aaron Ramsey’s head in front of the goal. It was an easy job for the Juventus midfielder to nod in the go-ahead goal behind Peter Gulacsi.
After the energetic start and the 1-0 lead, Wales somewhat pulled back and the game evened in terms of ball possession. Kieffer Moore had a chance from another brilliant Bale cross from the right, but the header narrowly missed the goal. Rolland Sallai of Hungary threatened Wayne Hennessy, who had to pull a double save from close range to keep his net clean. The first half so no more action and the Welsh led 1-0 come halftime.
Second half started with a blast. It was Aaron Ramsey once again left sneaking unmarked at the edge of the goal, who received the ball from Kieffer Moore’s missed volley and put the hosts 2-0 up from close range. There were suspicions of offside, but the replays revealed it was a good goal. Later on Gareth Bale came close from a free-kick as did Daniel James from the edge of the box, but the score remained 0-2 until the final whistle.
When the final whistle blew sealing Wales’ second consecutive qualification to the European Championship tournament, there was no one happier than the Wales boss Ryan Giggs. In June, after losing to Hungary, the Wales’ faithful had lost all hope and Giggs’ contribution was put into question – but not anymore.