Coming off of a disappointing loss against England, Wales needed at least a tie to give them a chance at advancing to the Round of 16 in their Group B finale. Gareth Bale and co. made certain that the Dragons wouldn’t miss out on the knockout round.
Wales booked their spot in the next round on Monday, defeating Russia, 3-0, behind a goal and an assist from the Real Madrid playmaker.
The Welsh got off to a dream start, scoring two goals in the opening 20 minutes, first through Aaron Ramsey and followed by Neil Taylor.
Joe Allen played provider for Wales on the opener, sliding a through ball into the path of Ramsey, who made no mistake on the finish in the 11th minute. Taylor then doubled the side’s lead nine minutes later, after Gareth Bale found the Swansea defender making a deep run into the penalty area.
While Russia had a few isolated chances in front of goals on the afternoon, Wales never lost control of the match, notching 12 shots on target.
The Dragons likely had the points in the bag going into the second half based on their dominance, but Bale’s clever finish in the 67th minute put Wales up 3-0, all but sealing their place as Group B champions.
The victory assures Wales a spot in the Round of 16, although their opponent has yet to be determined. Russia’s road at Euro 2016 comes to an abrupt halt with their loss on Monday.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Gareth Bale has been influential for the Welsh throughout Euro 2016, and proved his value yet again in Monday’s win. The Real Madrid winger registered a goal and an assist.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Russia appeared doomed from the start after conceding 11 minutes in. Aaron Ramsey’s goal built confidence for the Welsh, and they never looked back.
MATCH TO FORGET
Igor Akinfeev and the Russian backline faced relentless pressure on the afternoon, and they simply couldn’t find an answer to the Welsh attack.