James avoids blushing and earns a Wales point in the Czech Republic | 2022 World Cup Qualifiers
For Welles, this was a case of the good, the bad and the ugly. Aaron Ramsey showed great composure to open the scoring with a great finishing touch but Wales allowed it Czech Republic For a penalty kick when Danny Ward’s slip allowed Ramsey’s pass into the end of the goalkeeper’s net.
Daniel James saved a point with a superb late kick and Wales They will head to Estonia wondering how they failed to achieve victory.
A slow-burning match turned into a fierce competition, perhaps marked by the disastrous goal that Wales feared from the worst four minutes after the break. For Wales, the annoying thing – behind the ball wriggling over the line – is that it arose from Ramsey’s possession-bound Alex Krall on the edge of the penalty area. Ramsey stole and his next step was to play a back pass to Ward. He should have been harmless but Ward mishandled the ball and pressed in turn to self-destruct. The ball slowly dipped into the net and the goalkeeper, who is often the hero in recent months, ended up in his own net. But the lasting image of the night was Wales fans, their arms wide, their backs arched, singing their squad after determining what could be a crucial point.
It was Ramsey’s first qualifying match since he scored two goals to seal Wales’ place at Euro 2020 nearly two years ago, and here he produced another magical moment to add to the group. The only shame was that the joy only lasted a minute, I entered the Czech Republic very easily, and Jacob Pesek came home after saving Ward from Philip Novak.
Ramsey, captain in the absence of the injured Gareth Bale, appeared in a good mood from the start. He was booked for his prodigal elbow in the first minute but on the ball he was alert and gentle. Off the ball, he roamed the lanes of space and was lurking unnoticed at the back post when Neko Williams sent in a captivating cross from the right. Dan James was unable to connect but Ramsey applied a fine finishing touch to give Wales the lead in 36 minutes. Ramsey is calm as the others get confused, and after bluffing his shot, and later deceiving Czech goal-line defender and goalkeeper Tomas Vaclic, he carelessly hoists the ball into the far corner, creating pandemonium among the 1,000-strong red fence. . .
Wales should have taken the lead by then, but Kiefer Moore – the only player in the starting line-up to score in his previous matches in this qualifier – made the meal an easy opportunity. Ramsey turned halfway and saw James in the space to his left. Ramsey, lopsided, sent a superb pass forward for James to get into and suddenly they had an attractive two-on-one scenario on their hands, but the winger delayed his pass and Moore backed off as well, allowing Vaclic to save his shot.
The Czech Republic had their first real chance, when Ward cleverly saved Pesek after a clever footwork from Patrik Cech on the edge of the penalty area. A headline in Czech daily Bravo said it was ‘a time of imminent revenge’ but the striker, who finished as Euro 2020’s top scorer, was otherwise quiet in the initially low half. The pace of James, who played alongside Moore in attack, worried Ondrej Silostka, but Wells sometimes looked rusty and failed to make the most of some promising openers.
The second half was just four minutes old when Ramsey was involved in the Czechs’ lead in tragic circumstances. Ethan Ampadu was the first to wake Ward and the goalkeeper quickly cleared himself off the ground but it is indisputable that the goal gave the home side the lead.
Suddenly, a nervous crowd in the house made a mockery of Ward’s every touch. Suddenly, things weren’t paying off for Welles, and so Robert Page sought changes, introducing Conor Roberts and Harry Wilson. Joe Allen almost got penalized for a loose touch in midfield, after which Ramsay was only able to look at the ground when a diagonal pass bounced from play.
Just as Wales seemed to be in danger of running out, James, satisfied to have been tricked into attack, reached the equaliser in time. Wilson arrived energetic from the bench and played a superb pass into James, which the winger finished emphatically. An extended VAR check resulted in a goal cleared and it was a blow that turned the game on its head again. Ramsey then hit the net from the outside of his foot from a narrow angle, forcing Vaclic to save 15 minutes before the time Moore dropped a header a yard from a hanging cross as Wales took a strong lead.