Wales Clear Path to Euros Showdown with Poland

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Wales Clear Path to Euros Showdown with Poland

By Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (March 21st 2024)

Dream Start

Cymru secured a comfortable 4-1 win over Finland tonight. The victory set up a winner takes all match against Poland on Tuesday – a berth in Group D of Germany’s Euro2024 awaits the winners.

Wales got off to a dream start at Cardiff City Stadium in the third minute. Finland’s captain and keeper Lukáš Hrádecký parried Harry Wilson’s shot from the left of the area, but the rebound fell into the path of David Brooks who made no mistake, giving Cymru the lead. Meanwhile, Finland struggled to put a meaningful attack together and deservedly conceded a second with just over ten minutes of the first half remaining – the pick of the night’s goals. Wilson laid off a freekick in the D to the onrushing Neco Williams whose shot into the top corner gave Hrádecký no chance to the keeper’s left.

The Legendary Opponent

Wales were cruising, but got a rude awakening with half time approaching as Joel Pohjanpalo neat touch beat both Chris Mepham and Ben Davies to release the dangerous Teemu Pukki who needed no second invitation to net his 40th goal – he is now 8 goals clear of second placed Jari Litmanen as his country’s top scorer in international football with no challengers in sight.

After five years at Norwich City, where he is considered a legend he left on a free transfer last year, joining Minnesota United in the MSL. Within four months of signing for Minnesota united he became the only player in the club’s history to score four goals in a match. The warning signs were clear.


Cymru took a slender lead in at half time as two minutes after the break Brennan Johson, given the nod to lead the line ahead of Kiefer Moore, scored a scrappy goal to restore the two-goal cushion. Wilson’s freekick to the far post was headed back into the danger area by Ethan Ampadu – Leeds United’s captain was making his 50th appearance for Wales, beating Gareth Bale’s record as the youngest to reach that mark. Brooks flicked it on and Johnson hooked it in.

With just over 20 minutes remaining Daniel Håkans was yellow carded for simulation and VAR intervened 8 minutes later to deny Ben Davies. Williams’ corner was headed in by Davies, but it was disallowed for offside.

With five minutes of normal time remaining substitute Daniel James capitalised on Miro Tenho’s error to round Hrádecký and slot it into the empty net. Wales were through to Tuesday’s Euro2024 play-off on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Finland has to lift themselves for a meaningless match against Estonia. Markku Kanerva was disappointed but saw positives in playing Estonia. Rob Page had already done his homework on Poland. “We have already looked at Poland,” he said.

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