Ryan Giggs thanked Daniel James for bringing his club form for Swansea City to the international stage after Wales began their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a vital win. It was James’ early goal that enabled Wales to beat Slovakia 1-0 at the Cardiff City Stadium to ensure they are among the early pace-setters in , rather than a step behind. Swansea winger James marked his first competitive international start with a fifth-minute strike as Wales got their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign off to a dream start.
Slovakian skipper Marek Hamsik still recalls the day Ben Davies stopped him from scoring the first goal for his country at the Euro 2016 finals in France - and changed the course of football history for both nations. Wales went on to win 2-1 and continued all the way to the semi-finals, while Slovakia, also at their first Euro finals, went out at the pool stages. There were only three minutes on the clock when Hamsik slalomed his way into the Welsh penalty area and shot past Wayne Hennessey for what seemed like a certain goal.
Allen Clarke has backed his Ospreys team to continue to recover from the death wish placed on them and suggested no-one outside the region will know the extent of their turmoil. Just two weeks after being crumpled like a piece of waste paper and hurled towards the bin, the Ospreys showed their resolve with a 29-20 bonus point victory over the Dragons. The win – underpinned by four tries from full-back Dan Evans – came in their first game since merger plans with the Scarlets, backed by the Welsh Rugby Union, were abandoned following the outrage that ensued.
Golden oldie Gareth Bale has vowed to help polish the new gems as Wales aim to sparkle again in the European Championships. Almost three years after being the jewel in the crown for Chris Coleman’s team at Euro 2016, Bale is still the most precious piece in the new line-up under Ryan Giggs. But as Wales prepare to take on Slovakia tonight in their opening qualifier for Euro 2020, the Real Madrid star – not yet even 30 – is the self-confessed “oldie” compared to the new crops of youngsters who will provide vital support.
Raneem El Welily
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