Date: June 11, 2016
Result: Wales 1 Slovakia 1
Wales: Bale 10, Robson-Kanu 81
Slovakia: Duda 61
Venue: Stade de Bordeaux
Wales began their tournament in style, beating fellow debutants Slovakia in a tightly-fought contest in Bordeaux. Gareth Bale gave Wales an early lead with a superbly-taken free-kick but Wales’s defensive approach allowed Slovakia to play their way back into the game and substitute Ondrej Duda gave them a deserved equaliser. And as Slovakia threatened to turn the game in their favour, substitute Hal Robson-Kanu grabbed the winner for Wales.
Just as it looked as if the points would be shared, Wales broke through Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey. The ball found its way through to substitute Hal Robson-Kanu, whose weak shot deceived Slovakia keeper Matus Kozacik to find its way into the net for the decisive goal.
Man of the match:
Wales showed that there are more than a one-man team but Gareth Bale set them on their way with a brilliant free-kick to open the scoring.
Matter of fact:
Ondrej Duda was the first player since Pele in 1958 to score against Wales in a major tournament.
Wales opted to start without a target man, with Hal Robson-Kanu on the bench and Jonny Williams starting behind Bale. The tactics worked: Williams pressed and harried the Slovakia defence and for Wales’ goal, he was fouled, winning the free-kick which Bale then converted. When Robson-Kanu did appear, as a substitute with less than a quarter of the game remaining, he scrambled the winning goal.
Attempts on target
21 Danny Ward
02 Chris Gunter
03 Neil Taylor
04 Ben Davies
05 James Chester
06 Ashley Williams
07 Joe Allen
10 Aaron Ramsey (15 Jazz Richards)
11 Gareth Bale
14 David Edwards (16 Joe Ledley 68)
20 Jonathan Williams (09 Hal Robson-Kanu 71)
Starting formation: 3-5-2
Ward – Chester, Williams, Davies – Gunter, Allen, Edwards, Ramsey, Taylor – J Williams, Bale
23 Matus Kozacik
02 Peter Pekarik
03 Martin Skrtel
04 Jan Durica
07 Vladimir Weiss (10 Miroslav Stoch 83)
13 Patrik Hrosovsky (08 Ondrej Duda 60)
17 Marek Hamsik
18 Dusan Svento
19 Juraj Kucka
20 Robert Mak
21 Michal Duris (11 Adam Nemec 60)
Starting formation: 4-5-1
Kozacik – Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Svento – Mak, Ducka, Hrosovsky, Hamsik Weiss – Duris
Slovakia: Hrosovsky 32, Mak 78, Weiss 80, Kucka 83, Skytel 90
Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (Nor)