Welsh Dragons Survive a EuroDog Showdown
This match was all about a tactical clash between two long-time have-nots ducking and diving their way through Euro 2016.
- Wales had a tourney scoring leader in Gareth Bale, and
- Northern Ireland had a crew of dudes determined to stop him.
Ironically, this strategy limited the Real Madrid luminary, but it also enabled an own goal that ultimately sent the Dragons through to the quarter-finals.
Dedicating so many resources to stopping a star made for a relatively ugly game.
Still, the Norn Iron had their moments. In fact, Stuart Dallas was the first to pose a legitimate scoring threat:
Alleged talisman Aaron Ramsey was actually the first to find twine, except for one annoying detail:
Bale's best chance at adding to his co-leading scorer's total came in a situation where he didn't have an opposing escort.
A free kick:
Bale was held to 19 completions in 32 passing attempts, but it was one that didn't find its mark that sealed the deal for Wales:
So much for Northern Ireland's containment strategy.
The Brexit vote may have Britain leaving the European Union, but its principality of Wales has no intention of leaving Euro 2016.
They're in the quarters of a major tourney for the first time since 1958. The Dragons will be facing either Belgium or Hungary.
Tall order. But dudes are breathing fire right now.