Sunday, October 17

Bale refines and Wales already sits in the round of 16 | Soccer Eurocup 2021

Gareth Bale, on a ride during Wales-Turkey.
Gareth Bale, on a ride during Wales-Turkey.Dan Mullan / AP

In the festive football marathon of the Eurocup, the transit of the days qualifies the disposition of the teams, forced to move in a few days. If the premiere was not pleasant, the demand grows and demands new solutions, the precautions disappear and usually duels with more chicha are witnessed. It happened between Turkey and Wales, who signed a lavish match in back and forth, without precautions or reservations. Football grows as a spectacle when such displays are perceived. The Welsh won (0-2), who enjoyed an improved version of Gareth Bale, gave the passes of both goals and caused a penalty that scored. With four points they can already be considered in the round of 16. Many caroms should be produced so that although they were third in the group they were one of the two worst in the aggregate. Darker is the future of Turkey, who must win in the final match against Switzerland and surely do it with enough goals in favor to wipe away the setback they took in the opening against Italy.

Turkey received the goals as if they were daggers. The second struck her down, but the first was especially painful because not only did he arrive just before half-time but he did so with notice. Minutes before, Bale and Ramsey had already tried it with a simple and effective solution, especially against a clueless rival. The Real Madrid left-hander hung from the right wing towards more backward positions to find time and space with the ball while the Juventus midfielder acted as a striker from the second row to receive the backs of the centrals without anyone chasing him. This was how Wales could score midway through the first half, but Ramsey hesitated, finished without much faith, high, and immediately looked at the linesman to check desperately that, indeed, he had dismantled the Turkish defense without incurring offside. But more desperate was, for Turkey, that it happened again. And that this second time Ramsey did not forgive.

The award went to Wales, who found herself comfortable in the spaces, vertical as she is. Still, the British team suffered. Turkey forced him to cover himself because he collected passes, with less fang, but with a certain lucidity. Burak Yilmaz had the goal close on several occasions. Even at set pieces the Ottomans squeezed: Morrell had to intervene twice under sticks to get poisoned shots.

Turkey were more of a team when they took advantage of their generosity in the effort to recover the ball near the rival area. Wales hesitated in some of those sets because there is no good foot in their back, but in their DNA they carry the precise genetic instructions to gallop in search of deep shipments.

Ramsey’s goal changed the course of the game, but not its emotional character. Turkey pushed at the start of the second half, was able to tie Burak Yilmaz, who persisted, but did not find the peephole that he exhibited this season at Lille. Wales should have sentenced because Bale forced a penalty that sent, between doubts in the approach to the ball, to the sky of Baku. Almost without a solution of continuity it could be amended by taking advantage of a knot from goal Çakir with the ball at his feet. Without dazzling as in his best days, Bale was much more active than in the first match against Switzerland and did what is asked of his team: pull it.

With half an hour to play, everything was plunged into that wonderful chaos that has been a hallmark of the Turkish team for so many years. It will be true that you play football as you live. The nearness of the abyss unleashed the troubled and courageous Ottomans, with many plans other than pushing and shoving. Wales folded, Turkey was exhausted and had no reflexes to seek the amplitude and open the defense that they posed. So he opted to go big, load the area with finishers and despise his back. He barely had one, but it was clear. Before Roberts’ sentence on the horn arrived, he could tie in that agonizing end with a header from central Demiral to which goalkeeper Ward responded with a popcorn. The boy spent the whole year on the Leicester bench, but the opportunity to play for his country has given him wings.

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