European Championship Qualifying - Group E
Slovakia1Wales1

Slovakia 1-1 Wales: Kieffer Moore goal keeps Wales' Euro 2020 hopes on track

Kieffer Moore of Wales and Peter Pekarik of Slovakia compete for the ball
Kieffer Moore was preparing to sign for then non-league Forest Green when Wales were at Euro 2016

Wales kept their Euro 2020 qualification hopes on track in Slovakia despite the hosts coming from behind to earn a point in Trnava.

A first international goal from Wigan's Kieffer Moore gave Wales the advantage as he firmly headed home from Dan James' excellent cross moments after Gareth Bale headed against the crossbar.

Slovakia equalised with a goal from nothing as Juraj Kucka smashed home a volley after Wales failed to clear a cross eight minutes into the second half.

The hosts dominated after the interval, but their momentum was lost when Norbert Gyomber was sent off for a second yellow card, allowing Wales to finish the contest as the most likely winners.

The draw means Wales stay fourth in Group E, behind Hungary who lost 3-0 to group leaders Croatia.

Slovakia sit three points above Wales and a point above third-place Hungary, but Wales have a game in hand and a superior head-to-head record over Slovakia.

Giggs the international 'Tinkerman'

Ryan Giggs
Wales' draw at Slovakia was Ryan Giggs' first away point as manager in Euro qualifying

Move over Claudio Ranieri, world football has another 'Tinkerman' and he manages the Wales international team.

Ryan Giggs has already lamented in this campaign that the nature of international football is that you never know who will be available for selection, but he continues to tinker with both his formation and personnel.

However, whereas Giggs' selections have had supporters questioning him in previous matches in this campaign, Wales were excellent in the first half before Kucka's equaliser changed the game.

Giggs made four changes from the side that narrowly edged Azerbaijan in the last qualifier, though three of those switches were enforced.

Eyebrows would arguably have been raised at the decision to replace the injured Chris Mepham with Charlton's Tom Lockyer, the 24-year old having never played competitively for his country, in preference to the fit again and in-form Ashley Williams.

That decision almost backfired on Wales after only 10 minutes when Lockyer dawdled and was dispossessed by Albert Rusnak; but an incredible defensive block by Ethan Ampadu - think Ben Davies in the Euro 2016 opener - denied Robert Muk from close range. Lockyer improved after his early error.

Aaron Ramsey's continued absence meant Jonny Williams earned a first competitive start since playing Slovakia in the first game of Euro 2016, while a formation reshuffle saw Wigan's Kieffer Moore complete his journey from non-league football, with Harry Wilson and Tom Lawrence not deemed fit enough to start.

Williams settled quickly and his energetic display gave Slovakia plenty to think about, though referee Carlos Grande was well placed to dismiss Williams' penalty claim on 36 minutes when Norbert Gyomber just managed to take the ball as Wales screamed for a penalty.

Wales faded as the contest wore on and were restricted in the chances they created, but Joe Rodon was close from James' free-kick, with his goal-bound header blocked by Gyomber.

Moore quality in attack, but defensively frail

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The idea of selecting Moore - a former England C international who was toiling at non-league Forest Green Rovers when Wales reached the semi-final of Euro 2016 - was that his physicality and presence as an orthodox number nine would allow more space and time on the ball for Bale and Daniel James and the plan worked well.

With Slovakia playing a compact 4-3-3 formation, Bale and Dan James were given yards of space in wide areas and Wales looked a menace, especially on the counter-attack.

They were a whisker away from leading when Bale's firm header from Connor Roberts' cross struck the crossbar, but less than 60 seconds later they did go in front when James crossed for Moore who expertly planted his header into the net.

It was no less than Wales deserved and they restricted the hosts to half chances as the half wore on with Wayne Hennessey equal to Mak's weak effort and Juraj Kucka firing wide in added on time, while Newcastle's Martin Dubravka had to save efforts from Bale and James.

Wales were breached when the dangerous Mak cut inside, but Roberts denied him with an inch-perfect tackle.

However, Wales' resistance was broken after half-time when Roberts' diving header fell to Kucka who lashed the ball home with a volley that gave Wayne Hennessey no chance.

Hennessey made a terrific save to deny Kucka a second 10 minutes later as the hosts ramped up the pressure and the home fans increased their volume by several decibels.

While Wales were potent in attack they again looked vulnerable defensively, perhaps not surprising as Giggs has made 16 defensive changes in nine competitive fixtures since succeeding Chris Coleman.

However, Slovakia's momentum was lost when Gyomber received a red card for a second booking, with defender Rodon within a whisker of scoring a winner, but his acrobatic overhead kick just skimmed past the upright.

Moore also came close to flicking home from Roberts' cross, but Slovakia held on for a point as James lashed wide with the final chance of an enthralling match.

Man of the match - Kieffer Moore (Wales)

Kieffer Moore
The Wales striker made a big impact in his first competitive international and might have won it

Line-ups

Slovakia

  • 1Dubravka
  • 2Pekarík
  • 3GyömbérBooked at 88mins
  • 14Skriniar
  • 16Hancko
  • 19Kucka
  • 22Lobotka
  • 17Hamsik
  • 10Rusnák
  • 9BozenikSubstituted forSafrankoat 86'minutes
  • 20MakSubstituted forHaraslinat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Valjent
  • 5Satka
  • 6Gregus
  • 7Haraslin
  • 8Duda
  • 11Bero
  • 12Kozácik
  • 13Hrosovsky
  • 15Mazán
  • 18Safranko
  • 21Duris
  • 23Greif

Wales

  • 1Hennessey
  • 14Roberts
  • 16Lockyer
  • 5Rodon
  • 4Davies
  • 7Allen
  • 15AmpaduBooked at 33minsSubstituted forMorrellat 58'minutes
  • 11BaleBooked at 15mins
  • 17WilliamsBooked at 50minsSubstituted forH Wilsonat 66'minutes
  • 20JamesBooked at 90mins
  • 13Moore

Substitutes

  • 2Gunter
  • 3Taylor
  • 6Williams
  • 8Roberts
  • 9Vokes
  • 10H Wilson
  • 12Ward
  • 18Morrell
  • 19Lawrence
  • 21Davies
  • 22Matondo
  • 23Vaulks
Referee:
Carlos del Cerro Grande
Attendance:
18,071

Match Stats

Home TeamSlovakiaAway TeamWales
Possession
Home70%
Away30%
Shots
Home13
Away15
Shots on Target
Home4
Away6
Corners
Home5
Away5
Fouls
Home9
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Slovakia 1, Wales 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Slovakia 1, Wales 1.

Attempt missed. Daniel James (Wales) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Kieffer Moore following a fast break.

Juraj Kucka (Slovakia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kieffer Moore (Wales).

Booking

Daniel James (Wales) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Peter Pekarík (Slovakia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Daniel James (Wales).

Milan Skriniar (Slovakia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Gareth Bale (Wales).

Attempt missed. Joe Rodon (Wales) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Kieffer Moore with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Norbert Gyömbér (Slovakia) for a bad foul.

Foul by Norbert Gyömbér (Slovakia).

Kieffer Moore (Wales) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Slovakia. Pavol Safranko replaces Robert Bozenik.

Corner, Wales. Conceded by David Hancko.

Attempt missed. Albert Rusnák (Slovakia) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Marek Hamsik following a set piece situation.

Lukas Haraslin (Slovakia) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Joe Allen (Wales).

Offside, Wales. Wayne Hennessey tries a through ball, but Kieffer Moore is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Slovakia. Lukas Haraslin replaces Robert Mak.

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Norbert Gyömbér.

Attempt blocked. Joe Rodon (Wales) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Daniel James with a cross.

Foul by Norbert Gyömbér (Slovakia).

Daniel James (Wales) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Wales. Conceded by Martin Dubravka.

Attempt saved. Kieffer Moore (Wales) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Connor Roberts.

Substitution

Substitution, Wales. Harry Wilson replaces Jonathan Williams.

Robert Bozenik (Slovakia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Joe Morrell (Wales).

Attempt missed. Juraj Kucka (Slovakia) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Marek Hamsik.

Attempt saved. Albert Rusnák (Slovakia) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Robert Mak.

Foul by Albert Rusnák (Slovakia).

Joe Morrell (Wales) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Juraj Kucka (Slovakia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ben Davies (Wales).

Offside, Slovakia. Juraj Kucka tries a through ball, but Robert Mak is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Wales. Joe Morrell replaces Ethan Ampadu.

Attempt missed. Juraj Kucka (Slovakia) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Albert Rusnák following a corner.

Corner, Slovakia. Conceded by Tom Lockyer.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 10th October 2019

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England44001941512
2Czech Rep53029819
3Kosovo5221101008
4Montenegro5023313-102
5Bulgaria5023511-62

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ukraine54101111013
2Portugal422010468
3Serbia52121012-27
4Luxembourg511358-34
5Lithuania5014415-111

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Netherlands54011761112
2Germany54011761112
3Northern Ireland640287112
4Belarus6114310-74
5Estonia6015218-161

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1R. of Ireland532062411
2Denmark5230155109
3Switzerland422010468
4Georgia511348-44
5Gibraltar5005016-160

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia6411135813
2Slovakia6312108210
3Hungary630379-29
4Wales52125507
5Azerbaijan5014513-81

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain66001731418
2Sweden6321138511
3Romania6312137610
4Norway623111839
5Malta6105213-113
6Faroe Islands6006320-170

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland7511112916
2Austria7412167913
3North Macedonia7322109111
4Slovenia7322137611
5Israel72231214-28
6Latvia7007124-230

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Turkey65011421215
2France65011941515
3Iceland6402109112
4Albania630310919
5Moldova6105217-153
6Andorra6006014-140

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium77002812721
2Russia76012241818
3Cyprus7313137610
4Kazakhstan7214911-27
5Scotland7205517-126
6San Marino7007037-370

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Italy66001831518
2Finland640284412
3Armenia6303121119
4Bos-Herze6213121117
5Greece6123710-35
6Liechtenstein6015119-181
View full European Championship Qualifying tables

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