Wales keep automatic Euro 2020 qualification hopes alive with 2-0 win over Azerbaijan
Wales coasted to a 2-0 win over Azerbaijan to keep their hopes of finishing in the top two of Euro 2020 qualifying Group E.
Goals from Kieffer Moore and Harry Wilson gave Ryan Giggs’ side the all important win going into the final group match.
Wales will need to beat Hungary on Tuesday and hope Slovakia do not win their final two games.
Gareth Bale captained Wales in their crucial Euro 2020 qualifier in Azerbaijan despite not having played for over a month because of a calf problem.
Aaron Ramsey, yet to play in Euro 2020 qualifying, was on the bench after injury as Chris Mepham, Joe Morrell and Harry Wilson featured after last month’s 1-1 draw against Croatia.
Injured pair Joe Rodon and Jonny Williams and the suspended Joe Allen dropped out, while Azerbaijan made four changes from the side beaten in Hungary last month.
Wales started on the front foot with goalkeeper Salahat Agayev pushing out efforts from Wilson and Morrell.
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Kieffer Moore then headed Wales into a 10th-minute lead, meeting Wilson’s corner at the far post and scoring from close range.
Wales doubled their lead after 34 minutes when Daniel James cut inside onto his right foot for an effort which hit both the crossbar and the post.
Wilson was in the right place to head the rebound into an unguarded goal, the forward’s first goal for Wales in just over a year.
Azerbaijan wanted a penalty when Dmitrij Nazarov’s drive struck Tom Lockyer on the arm but German referee Deniz Aytekin was not interested and booked Nazarov for dissent.
Wales reached half-time 2-0 ahead and in control of the contest.
Wilson and Moore went close to extending Wales’ lead at the start of the second half and Tom Lockyer saw his header disallowed for an Ethan Ampadu push on Agayev.
Bale was replaced just before the hour mark with Tuesday’s final qualifier against Hungary in Cardiff in mind. Ramsey came on to make his first Wales appearance in an almost exactly a year.
Giggs’ side were comfortable throughout the second half and eased to the 2-0 win to give themselves the chance of qualifying in the final match.
Full results from Saturday’s Euro 2020 qualifying matches
Azerbaijan 0-2 Wales
Slovenia 1-0 Latvia
Cyprus 1-2 Scotland
Russia 1-4 Belgium
San Marino 1-3 Kazakhstan
Source: SportsLatest TS