With a win over Turkey, Wales moves closer to the knockout stages of Euro 2020.
By defeating Turkey 2-0 in Baku, Wales advanced to the knockout stage of Euro 2020.
Aaron Ramsey scored his 17th international goal just before halftime, and Connor Roberts sealed the win in the last seconds after Gareth Bale missed a penalty.
The result puts Wales on four points and puts them in a good position moving into their final Group A match against Italy on Sunday in Rome.
With four points, no team failed to qualify for the final 16 at Euro 2016 in France five years ago.
In the 69,870-capacity Olympic Stadium, which was around half filled, a few hundred Wales fans were severely outnumbered. Because of the tight relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey, the local community backed the Crescent-Stars wholeheartedly.
The last time the two countries played was in 1997, when Turkey won a bizarre 10-goal World Cup qualifier 6-4.
Robert Page was part of Wales’ defense in Istanbul that night, and the interim manager had concerns to deal with following his side’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland, in which they were short in both possession and penetration.
Page, on the other hand, put out the same team with Wales, hoping that important players Bale and Ramsey would have a significantly greater impact than they did on Saturday.
With his sixth international goal, Kieffer Moore had saved Wales against Switzerland, and the Welsh game plan no doubt included greater service for the 6ft 5in striker.
Bale’s participation had also been questioned, with Wales’ record scorer and talisman having gone 12 games without scoring, dating back to October of this year.
Bale started on Moore’s left side, with Daniel James on his right, in a three-man attack, but the two quickly switched flanks, giving Wales a more recognizable look.
Turkey had also gone through a period of self-reflection after their 3-0 loss to Italy, a humiliating lesson in which they only managed three off-target shots.
Many tipped Senol Gunes’ squad, which is the youngest at Euro 2020, to win. (This is a brief piece.)