Wales 2-0 Turkey: Victory puts Wales on the edge of progression
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Wales took a huge step towards the round of 16 stage with a 2-0 victory over Turkey in Baku.

Wales started well and went into the break ahead through Aaron Ramsey's first-half effort. 

Gareth Bale then missed the chance to double his side's lead on the hour, placing his penalty over the bar.

However, Bale made amends by setting up Connor Roberts in stoppage time to confirm a deserved victory.

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  • Story of the match

The game began with a tremendous intensity, as both sides were desperate to collect three points in an attempt to be in line to progress into the round of 16 stage.

Wales had an early sight of goal when Bale threaded Ramsey into the area in the sixth minute. Ramsey cut onto his right boot before electing to have an effort at goal instead of rolling the ball into Kieffer Moore, seeing his shot saved by Ugurcan Cakir at his near post.

Two minutes later, Turkey had a chance of their own through Burak Yilmaz, who saw his shot from Zeki Celik’s delivery deflect wide off the leg of Chris Mepham.

Danny Ward was then forced into a routine save on 15 minutes, as his former Leicester City teammate, Cengiz Under, hit a snapshot from deep, which Ward held.

Ramsey missed another great chance on 22 minutes, as his smart run beat the offside trap to receive a pass from Bale. The Juventus midfielder took the ball out of his feet before blazing his shot poorly over the bar with only the ‘keeper to beat.

Khan Ayhan - one of two changes made by Turkey - then saw his header from a corner cleared off the line by Joe Morrell at the far post.

Wales took the lead on the stroke of half-time in Baku. Bale created his third big chance of the half for Ramsey, picking out his well-timed run into the area with a ball over the top. Ramsey chested the ball down to his feet before neatly guiding an effort past the hapless Cakir.

Turkey came out in the second half with an impetuous style as they looked to try and find a way back into the game.

Four minutes after the restart, Ward was forced into a low save when he got down to hold Hakan Calhanoglu’s drilled attempt from the edge.

On 54 minutes, Yilmaz missed a glorious chance to level the game. A free-kick into the centre was flicked towards the six-yard box by Ayhan but the forward acrobatically volleyed over the bar.

Cakir then kept his side in the contest with a great reaction save to keep out Ramsey’s deflected effort.

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On the hour, Wales were awarded a penalty when Bale was thwarted just inside the area by Celik. Bale stepped up but horrendously blazed his spot-kick over the bar.

This gave Turkey a little bit of belief take they could get back into the game and make the Welsh skipper rue his penalty miss.

The Crescent-Stars threw everything at their opponents, going close through Yilmaz, whose header looped into the grateful hands of Ward.

Then, with three minutes remaining, Ward produced a match-winning save as he pushed Merih Demiral’s powerful header from the corner wide of his goal.

Wales confirmed their win in stoppage time as Bale opted to not keep the ball in the corner, instead carrying the ball into the area before setting up Connor Roberts for an easy finish to cap off a resounding victory for The Dragons.

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  • Takeaways from the game

Wales show bundles of fight

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Wales put in a spirited display to ensure that they have the best chance of progressing through to the round of 16 stage.

The Dragons knew that they needed to win, with the demanding task of getting a positive result against a pitiless Italian side.

From minute one, Wales gave it all they had and, by the full-time whistle, they were using up the last bit of fuel in the tank to rather limp over the line after a bombardment of Turkey attacks in a long last quarter of the game.

Hopefully, the Azzurri can do them a favour by beating Switzerland this evening.

  • Man of the match

Gareth Bale

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Bale had an almost perfect performance in Baku, as the jarring penalty miss may hinder his match rating. But his two assists were vital for his country. 

However, the winger was instrumental to the majority of Wales’ attacks, especially in the first half where the Welshman provided three big chances for Ramsey, with one of them being the winner.

Bale has always been important for Wales, but his experience around this young, promising side will be indispensable.

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