Brilliant Bale inspires Wales in debut win over Slovakia
sports Updated: Jun 12, 2016 09:03 IST
BORDEAUX: Wales forward Gareth Bale got their Euro 2016 campaign off to a dream start with an early goal and substitute Hal Robson-Kanu struck a late winner as they beat Slovakia 2-1 in the Group B opener on Saturday.
Robson-Kanu fired home from inside the area in the 81st minute following a neat pass by Aaron Ramsey to secure the three points after Bale had put the Welsh in front in the 10th with a free kick that deceived Slovakia keeper Matus Kozacik.
Slovakia, who should have scored after five minutes when Marek Hamsik dribbled past three players only to see his goalbound shot cleared off the line by Ben Davies, equalised through substitute Ondrej Duda with his first touch on the hour.
But Robson-Kanu popped up to give Wales a deserved victory in their first major international tournament for 58 years after an inspired substitution by manager Chris Coleman who was as delighted as the hordes of Welsh fans at the Stade de Bordeaux.
In Lens, for the first time in European Championship history, two brothers played for opposing sides when Switzerland beat Albania 1-0 on Saturday in their opening Group A match.
Granit Xhaka helped the Swiss to victory over an Albania side that included his older brother Taulant, in their first international encounter on different teams.
“It was a very special moment for our family having two sons playing on opposite sides,” said Granit, who was recently signed by Arsenal.