Sports News of Thursday, 17 June 2021
Goals from Aaron Ramsey and Connor Roberts gave Wales a 2-0 win over Turkey in Baku to put them on the verge of a Euro 2020 last-16 spot.
Ramsey, who had already missed two excellent chances to score, chested down and slotted home Bale’s sumptuous 20-yard diagonal ball to set Wales on the way to their first win of the tournament three minutes before half-time.
Bale would later win a penalty for a foul by Zeki Celik but would blaze the spot-kick over the bar, leaving Wales a nervous ending to the game until Roberts turned home Bale’s run from a short corner in the final seconds of second-half injury time to leave Wales’ fans in tears and their country on the brink of reaching the knock-out stages.
By adding a victory to their point earned against Switzerland on Saturday, Robert Page’s side are likely to reach the next round regardless of what happens against Italy in their final group game on Sunday, while even a win against Switzerland will probably not suffice for pointless Turkey.
A superb strike from Aleksey Miranchuk gave Russia their first Euro 2020 win in St Petersburg, denying Finland a second successive victory in Group B.
Finland showed no ill-effects from their opening victory in Copenhagen, which was marred by the collapse of Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen.
In fact, the European Championship debutants thought they had taken an early lead when the impressive Joel Pohjanpalo – who scored the winner on Saturday – headed home inside three minutes, but it was chalked off by VAR for offside.
Russia built up their pressure throughout the first half and capitalised in the second minute of injury time when Miranchuk curled home beautifully into the far corner.
Finland responded well in the second half, but Russia should have added more, with Rifat Zhemaletdinov and Daler Kuzyaev both going close.
Russia now joins Belgium and Finland on three points in Group B, going second above Finland on the head-to-head record, with Roberto Martinez’s leaders facing Denmark on Wednesday.
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