Welsh captain Gareth Bale celebrated his side qualifying for the knockout stages of Euro 2020 as they held on to second place in Group A.
With Switzerland winning 3-1 against Turkey, a 1-0 defeat to Italy was enough to see them through to the next round, with Ethan Ampadu’s red card changing the scope of their ambition for the match.
Bale had a chance to settle the nerves late on in the game when he looked set to equalise with a volley from relatively close range, but instead he sent the ball way over the bar. In the end that miss made no difference.
Haaland! Messi! Spurs! Man Utd… Football, football, everywhere – The Warm-Up
- Italy beat 10-man Wales as both sides go through
- Switzerland see off sorry Turkey to secure third spot
- Southgate: 'Most important player' Kane will start against Czech Republic
Speaking to ITV after the game, Bale said: "We knew it would be very difficult from the start.
"A lot of running and defending, I am proud of the boys.
"I didn't see too much of the red card. It was unfortunate. We had to dig deep and we did that.
"We have to recover now and take the break and get ready to get going again.”
'Class is permanent' - Gareth Bale rolled back the years for Wales
The 31-year-old Real Madrid forward acknowledged his miss, saying: "With my chance I couldn't quite get over the ball, but it makes no difference in the end, we finish second."
Aaron Ramsey, playing again in Italy for his country after spending the season with his club Juventus, admitted it was a slog.
"It was tough for long periods. We were up against a great team who have gone 30 games unbeaten - that's some achievement," he said.
"But we showed great character, you can never question this team, we always give everything and we dug in.
"I feel sorry for Ethan [Ampadu] - it was a bit harsh maybe. He certainly caught him, it was one of those decisions that could have gone either way.
"It was important to create a couple of opportunities and we could have nicked a draw on another day. We need to be more consistent throughout the game but we are through in second place and we are delighted."
Man City turn to Cucurella after Arsenal agree terms for Zinchenko – Paper Round
'I haven't come here for the short term' - Bale eyeing longevity at Los Angeles FC
Share this article