Wales battled it out against Switzerland in their opening match of Euro 2020, as Kieffer Moore signaled his return to the team with what could be an important balance.
His first start in just nine games under interim manager Robert Page, the Cardiff City striker. He was close to giving Wales a lead early. When Yann Sommer heavily persuaded his head.
Switzerland took control of the game from then on. And, after misusing many chances. They ended up scoring a goal when the magnificent Breel Embolo came into the corner of Xherdan Shaqiri.
Since its lazy start, Wales had been slow to progress. But, 15 minutes before Joe Morrell‘s crucial cross found Moore.
His shiny head in the lower corner and sent a small. But the large bag of Welsh fans to the wild Baku.
Those fans then thought their hearts were broken 10 minutes later. When Swiss substitute Mario Gravanovic scored just after the break. But his intention was not allowed to be offside behind the VAR check.
Switzerland continued to press for winning goal overtime. But they were denied by a series of fine preservation from Danny Ward.
The intensification of the Swiss pressure in the past, with equality, would sound like a great relief to Wales. In its next match against Turkey in Baku on Wednesday.
After Turkey was thrashed 3-0 by Italy in Friday’s opening match. Wales’ second match in Baku could have a big impact on their hopes of reaching the knockout stages.
The Red Wall in Baku, a few bricks short.
Wales have been waiting for 58 years for their time in the sun at Euro 2016.
Being absent from the major finals since the 1958 World Cup. And it showed its impressive return to the semi-finals.
It was the summer that changed Wales football forever. And with the remaining eight members of that team. A mission statement in this to create their history.
This was a very different situation in France. At the same time, 24,000 Welsh fans thronged the Stade de Bordeaux five years ago.
The Baku epidemic meant the Red Wall was only moving by the hundreds.
They made themselves heard at the small Baku Olympic Stadium. Which was made to feel like a neighbor’s cave as the locals failed to fulfill their assignment.
Page remembered Moore as he returned to 4-2-3-1. After a disappointing out-of-the-box lead, generally 3-4-3 on construction.
The decision almost immediately affected Daniel James’ fine found Morey. With his head tied loosely over the bar by Swiss goalkeeper Sommer.
That was similar to Wales’ first half, which is well-organized. And confident opponents played.
Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey were less involved. In contrast, the defense struggled to capture Embolo.
But in the end, Wales tightened. And Ben Davies and Ramsey came close to a short corner that led to Morrell’s slight fall to Morey. His head was forgiving his choice.
Team Switzerland shouldering great expectations.
Switzerland has worked under the guise of being the golden generation. As a result, several team members won the 2009 Under-17 World Cup.
And they finished top of the 2011 Under-21 European Championship. Including Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka and Liverpool midfielder Shaqiri.
But while deserving of winning seven of the last eight ones. But, unfortunately, as hosts of Euro 2008, Switzerland failed to qualify for the second round.
They were quite a bit unlucky not to be in the lead till half-time. And Ferovovic was misguided, especially with his shot.
But the strike partner Embolo was in better form, distorting. And turning Wales defenders Chris Mepham and Joe Rodon.
Pacy player Borussia Monchengladbach was relieved on both occasions early in the second half.
Before seeing his shot saved by Ward and, in the corner of the result, stepped inside.
Embolo almost added a moment after a cut inside from the left. But the most painful of the Swiss near-miss was then closed. First with a Gavranovic goal which was disallowed. And then a few shots were saved by Ward.