Tag Archives: Gareth Bale

purposeful Denmark Conquer Wales to reach Euro 2020 Quarter-finals in Eriksen’s Honour

From the time Denmark’s stalwart Christian Eriksen had to, unfortunately, cut his Euro excursion short, owing to the ill-fated cardiac arrest he suffered on the field in game one, his team mates as a tribute to this great player have shown in abundance the one word which has essentially dictated their style of play.

This word is purpose.

Purpose to overcome adversity in their remaining fixtures to qualify for the round of 16 and now march to the last 8. And when purpose meets determination, the performances one gets are what dreams are made of.

Ask Christian Eriksen, and his smile would shine bright as he recuperates with the intent of taking the field once again. Well, I certainly hope so!

In truth, Denmark as a salute to this Inter Milan midfielder have not only beaten but annihilated two teams in Russia and Wales with a thumping 4-1 win over the former and a 4-0 rout of the latter. With each of these wins, they have marched to the next round of the competition with much purpose.

What makes me even happier despite having a soft corner for the Welsh is the venue where the Red Dragons were conquered by the Danes last evening.

Yes, the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam, the place where Christian Eriksen became a name in European football playing for Ajax. Surely, a befitting honour to this Danish talisman with the perfect concoction of happiness and emotion!

So, as the Danes became the first team to score four goals in two consecutive matches in the Euros and qualify for the last 8, let’s dissect this rout of a contest albeit more so if you’re a Wales supporter:

Dolberg shines bright in the first 45

Wales started the contest with much intent looking to continue their dream run into the next round when in just the 10th minute, captain Gareth Bale ran into space to beat the Danish defence and curled a shot on target which went just inches wide.

Moments later the Real Madrid star would fire another shot this time going wide on the other side of the post.

Well, the roar of The Red Dragons would unfortunately fizzle out after the first 15, as the Danes slowly but surely settled in the game, building attacks of their own.

The attacking mindset would soon pay dividends as Kasper Dolberg fired Denmark ahead in the 27th minute with a brilliant shot beating keeper Ward in the bottom-right corner of the Welsh net.

Credit – Reuters

Wales were rocked as Denmark started bringing the word that has defined their style of play in this tournament to the fore. Purpose!

Minutes later Dolberg almost had his second as the ball bounced off keeper Ward.

Denmark’s attacking intent continued for much of this half when in injury time they almost got another goal. This after the man of the moment, Dolberg flicked a pass to Mahele who’s right foot strike was palmed wide by Ward.

Wales were surely lucky to not be two down as the referee called half-time.

Danish Dynamite inflict further misery in the second 45

To say life is beautiful for Dolberg would be an understatement as three minutes into the second half, the Danish scored a brace courtesy a blunder by Welsh defender, Neco Williams. The young Welshman made a schoolboy error as he planted his clearance straight to Dolberg who made no mistake slotting in his second.

Credit – Reuters

Wales on their own accord with a boyish blunder were now 2-0 down.

The Danish Dynamite bombed more attacks on a deflated Welsh defence as the third came minutes before the full 90 when Mahele blasted a left-footed strike from close range. It was all over for the Red Dragons with this one as the Danes had had all-but cemented their place in the quarter-finals.

Credit – Reuters

The misery unfortunately wouldn’t end for the Welsh just then as Denmark would have their fourth in injury time when Martin Braithwaite buried one on target. The goal was allowed after a VAR check as the referee had raised his flag for a possible off-side on the Dane.

Credit – Reuters

Truth be told, Wales were routed with much purpose by Denmark as referee blew the whistle on the final 90 albeit for me The Red Dragons had more than exceeded expectations.

Yes, make no mistake as few expected Wales to proceed to the round of 16 after being in a tough group with the likes of Italy and Switzerland both ranked higher than this small but dynamic nation.

Kudos Red Dragons, you did well in the tournament!

A date with either the Dutch or Czech awaits the Danes

With a resounding 4-0 win, The Danes enter the last eight amid confidence galore as their purpose will now meet either the might of The Dutch or the determination of The Czechs.

In either case it will be a match to look out for albeit as a neutral I would love to see a Denmark-Netherlands showdown in the quarters with possibly purpose getting the better of might.

The smile of Christian surely would become laughter if the Danes progress to the semi-finals and as they say laughter is the best medicine.

Well, even the almighty would agree Eriksen needs that in loads!

An important Kieffer Moore header, saves Wales’ blushes in Baku!

After an unprecedented 15 months of the pandemic running or should I say ruining our lives, a four-letter word has brought the much-needed ointment on our long-hurting wound.

This four-letter word is Euro.

Yes, the first international football tournament amid the pandemic has finally set sail, albeit delayed by a year.

On Friday night, The Euro 2020 or should I say 2021, got underway in Rome with Italy hammering Turkey, 3-0 amid a sea of ecstatic Azzurri supporters.

Contrasting emotions of relief and excitement engulfed me to finally see the top nations in Europe battle it out to become the undisputed kings of this continent. This was a delight for every fan who loves international football.

When we talk about international football, we all have our favourites and a second nation too that we support despite being located in any corner of the globe. That’s precisely the reason they say football has the power to bring people together, regardless of their age, race, gender, culture, or nationality.

Well for me being an Indian, I am a die-hard fan of England, followed by a strong sense of liking for their neighbours, Wales.

Yes, Wales is my second favourite team as I tuned in yesterday with much expectation to see The Dragons lock horns with Switzerland in their opening contest amid 10,000 fans at the Baku Olympic Stadium.

In truth, I was much relieved with the final 1-1 result as despite the Swiss domination, The Welsh had managed to secure the vital point. Needless to say, I would have expected nothing less than a Wales victory with a team boasting the likes of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies and others. After all, they were the semi-finalists in 2016.

So, without further ado, lets dissect this contest, as the two West European nations battled it out in the second game of Group A:

Swiss dominate the first 45

The Dragons, under caretaker Manager Rob Page in the absence of the regular coach Ryan Giggs, started the contest brightly. In just the 15th minute, Kieffer Moore’s header was punched merely inches above the post by the Swiss goalkeeper, Yan Sommer who leaped at the right time to make the crucial save.

Credit – Reuters

That was the only chance of any prominence the Welsh would conjure in the first half, as Switzerland took control of the game. This Swiss created eighteen chances, with four being clear opportunities to score.

Fabian Schar almost put the Swiss in front in the 20th minute with a terrific backheel that was saved in the nick of time by keeper, Danny Ward. Switzerland’s second opportunity came just before halftime, as their number 9, Seferovic, hit the ball marginally high.

As the referee called time on the first 45, Wales were lucky not to be a goal down.

Moore more than saves the day for Wales

Luck would finally run out for Wales as the second half got underway, when in just the 49th minute, Swiss number 7, Breel Embolo made no mistake slotting a header into the left corner of the Welsh goal from a Xherdan Shaqiri corner.

Credit – Reuters

Switzerland all but deserved this lead for the relentless attacking brand of football they displayed.

The equaliser for The Dragons would come in the 74th minute, as Kieffer Moore guided a Joe Morell shot towards the Swiss goal with an adept header. The Cardiff City striker did well to overpower the Swiss defence to convert this opportunity.

Credit – Getty

Switzerland continued their offensive onslaught for the rest of the half, managing a second goal albeit VAR ruled it otherwise as Gavranovic was adjudged offside.

As the 90 ended, I like many Welsh supporters was more than relieved as The Dragons salvaged a point in a game that was all of Switzerland’s to win.

Wales have to feast on Turkey in their next game

If Wales harbour any ambitions of proceeding to the next round, draws surely are not the need of the hour.

The Dragons need to put wins under their belt to showcase the steel that got them to the semi-finals of the 2016 edition. Inspirational leader Gareth Bale surely needs to do more to have a nice Turkish feast in their next game as the Welsh lock horns with this East European nation.

Nothing less than a victory will suffice for The Men in Red against Turkey as their last group game against Italy in their own backyard would be a big mountain to climb.

So, go on Men in Red, show us an inspirational performance in your next outing. Soar to heights unparalleled as has another Reds outfit in achieving a Champions League spot despite being in the pits of adversity in the last edition of The Premier League.

Yes Wales, you need to do a Liverpool!

Everybody at Sportlight would like to wish Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen all the best with his recovery following his collapse on the pitch against Finland yesterday.