EURO 2020: Wales begins campaign on winning note

Wales held on for victory against Slovakia in Cardiff to make a winning start to their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

The hosts flew out of the blocks with attacking intent and led inside five minutes as Daniel James struck his first international goal with a bullet of a shot from 20 yards.

Wales had chances to extend their lead but risked squandering it against a resurgent Slovakia, for whom Albert Rusnak and Robert Mak both had shots saved by Wayne Hennessey.

The Wales goalkeeper then made a crucial intervention with eight minutes left as he palmed away Michal Duris’s close-range header, before David Hancko missed the rebound as the visitors pressed for an equaliser.

Ryan Giggs’ side, the second seeds in Group E, lived dangerously in the closing stages but they defended resolutely to cling on for what could prove to be a crucial win against Slovakia, the group’s third seeds and potentially their closest rivals for one of the two automatic qualifying places.

Slovakia and Croatia, the top seeds, had already started their campaigns with victories over Hungary and Azerbaijan respectively, so Wales move level with them on three points, with World Cup runners-up Croatia away at Hungary later on Sunday.

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