- Wales Wins the UK Battle -
UEFA EURO 2016 - ROUND OF 16
|Wales||1 - 0||Northern Ireland|
|McAuley (og) 75'|
Wales are in the Quarter-Finals! Gareth Bale’s side defeated their United Kingdom counterparts, Northern Ireland, 1-0 and advanced to the quarter-finals of UEFA Euro 2016. The only goal of the match was an own goal by McAuley in the 75th minute. Wales now awaits the winner of the match between Belgium and Hungary.
Today’s match was a United Kingdom encounter with Wales and Northern Ireland facing off (the referee was from England) for a place in the semi-finals. The opening half was similar to a match between two teams fighting for promotion to the English Premier League with lots of passion and intensity, but few chances on goal (N. Ireland had the best chance in the opening 10 minutes). After a goalless first half, Wales created a few opportunities and looked to be more threatening than Northern ireland. It seemed that one mistake or a moment of individual class would break the deadlock between the two sides. In the 75th minute, Wales pressed from the left side and Bale’s low, fast-paced cross was met by Northern Ireland’s defender, McAuley, who mistakenly cleared the ball into his own net. The final 15 minutes trickled without a response from Northern Ireland and Wales celebrated their place in the quarter-finals.
Wales becomes the second team in the history of the European Championships to win a knockout game with only one shot on goal. The first team to do it...Greece during the final of Euro 2004 where Charisteas’ only effort on goal was put away to give Greece the 1-0 victory over Portugal.
Wales will play the winner of the match between Belgium and Hungary in the quarter-finals. Northern Ireland’s successful run at their first European Championships comes to an end. Northern Ireland not only surprisingly progressed out of Greece’s group during qualifying, but also were able to make it out of the group stages at the final tournament, a major accomplishment in of its own.