• July 26, 2021

Exclusive: Wales qualify for Euro 2020 knockout stages – despite defeat to Italy in Rome

 Exclusive: Wales qualify for Euro 2020 knockout stages – despite defeat to Italy in Rome


Wales have qualified for the Euro 2020 knockout stages by finishing second in Group A, despite a 1-0 defeat to Italy at the Stadio Olimpico.

There was also heartbreak for Ethan Ampadu in Rome as he became the youngest player in European Championship history to receive a straight red card for a tackle on Federico Bernadeschi.

Gareth Bale consoles Ethan Ampadu after he became the youngest player in European Championship finals history to receive a straight red

AFP

Gareth Bale consoles Ethan Ampadu after he became the youngest player in European Championship finals history to receive a straight red

In spite of Switzerland’s 3-1 victory against Turkey, Robert Page’s men finished behind their Italian counterparts and avoided a third place finish which would have pitted them against the winners of the fabled ‘Group of Death’ containing France, Germany and Portugal.

Matteo Pessina flicked in a delicious free-kick from Marco Verratti as they made their first half pressure pay to make it three wins from three.

Gareth Bale had a glorious chance to equalise shortly after Ampadu’s red card, but the Real Madrid winger blazed a volley over the bar from inside the penalty box with no challengers around him.

Any chance Wales had of potentially causing an upset dissipated when Ampadu was shown a straight red for his late challenge on Bernadeschi which resulted in his studs raking across the Juventus midfielder’s ankle.

Matteo Pessina scored a delicious and impudent finish

AFP

Matteo Pessina scored a delicious and impudent finish

“He’s late on the ankle, studs showing, dangerous,” talkSPORT pundit Dean Ashton said. “I don’t know why he is shocked, it is a horrible challenge.”

Wales will now face the runner-up of Group B in Amsterdam on Saturday, June 26.

That group consists of Belgium, Russia, Finland and Denmark, meaning they would then be back in Baku for the quarter-final.





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