Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

Giggs thinks Wales have found momentum

Wales will go into their final game against Hungary on Tuesday knowing automatic qualification is up for grabs.

Wales manager Ryan Giggs was delighted with his side’s 2-0 win in Azerbaijan (Bradley Collyer/PA)
Wales manager Ryan Giggs was delighted with his side’s 2-0 win in Azerbaijan (Bradley Collyer/PA)

By Phil Blanche, PA, Baku

Ryan Giggs welcomed Wales’ 2-0 victory in Azerbaijan by insisting his side have found vital momentum heading into their final Euro 2020 qualifier against Hungary.

Wales kept alive their automatic qualification hopes with a comfortable win in Baku, Kieffer Moore and Harry Wilson scoring first-half goals.

And Croatia’s 3-1 victory over Slovakia later on Saturday evening meant that Wales will reach the European Championship finals with victory over Hungary in Cardiff on Tuesday.

bpanews_1a77c657-92c9-4053-bb0c-b3beb28c47a7_embedded248381545
Wales players applaud the fans after the final whistle (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“The result was what counted, getting that was the priority,” Giggs said.

“Some of the quality of the play was outstanding, we’ve improved since the Azerbaijan game (2-1 home win in September).

“We’ve started to gain some momentum, which is not easy in international football.

“Azerbaijan is not an easy place to come and there was so much on the game that it’s up there with one of my best performances.”

Giggs also had the benefit of giving game-time to star players Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey after their recent injury problems.

Bale had not played for over a month after suffering a thigh injury, but the Real Madrid forward got nearly an hour under his belt.

Juventus playmaker Ramsey replaced Bale to make his first Wales appearance in nearly a year.

“We’ve still got to assess it before Tuesday,” Giggs said.

bpanews_1a77c657-92c9-4053-bb0c-b3beb28c47a7_embedded248380745
Wales’ Gareth Bale, right, got some game time (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“Getting Gareth off pretty early and getting Aaron some minutes as well was important, When Aaron came on he showed his quality.

“It’s a quick turnaround and Gareth was blowing a little bit, which you can expect.

“But hopefully I’ll have the option to start both on Tuesday.

“We had to do our job, we’ve done it and tried put a little bit of pressure on Slovakia.”

On Wales’ upturn in form, Giggs added: “I would say we’ve had four good performances in a row, with the Belarus friendly.

“Slovakia and Croatia are top opposition and we played well. It’s what we needed after the two difficult games in the summer.

“We needed to be strong and we have been. We really dug in deep against Croatia.

“I was not happy with the amount of corners we kept giving away here, but in open play they never really troubled us and we could have scored a few more goals as well.”

bpanews_1a77c657-92c9-4053-bb0c-b3beb28c47a7_embedded245081255
Azerbaijan manager Nikola Jurcevic, right, felt Wales deserved to win (Nick Potts/PA)

Azerbaijan have yet to win in Euro 2020 qualifying and have picked up only one point from seven matches.

Manager Nikola Jurcevic said: “Wales deserved to win this game because they were the better team.

“We conceded goals from set-pieces, not for the first time against very big players.

“We had lots of set-pieces ourselves but the big difference between us and Wales was that they were really dangerous from theirs.”

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph