Wales 2-0 Hungary: Aaron Ramsey double sends Ryan Giggs' men to Euro 2020

Aaron Ramsey scored twice to seal Wales' qualification for Euro 2020 as Ryan Giggs' men beat Hungary 2-0.
 
After losing 1-0 in Budapest in June, hopes of automatic qualification looked slim for Wales but an unbeaten four-game run culminating in this win in Cardiff was enough to squeak Giggs' men to just their third major tournament.
 
Fired by the class of Ramsey and Gareth Bale and helped by the clever mix of experience and youth in the side, Wales took an early lead when Ramsey - on his first start for Wales for a year - headed home Bale's cross (7).
 
Aaron Ramsey in action for Wales
 
Wayne Hennessey kept Wales in front with a terrific double save just before the break before Ramsey struck (47) to seal the victory.
 
The result leaves Hungary needing to come through the playoffs in March to reach the finals. Slovakia, who beat Azerbaijan 2-0 on Tuesday, finished in third place and will also contest the playoffs.
 

How Ramsey and Bale inspired Wales...

Wales carried a big threat from the first whistle with the support in behind Kiefer Moore creating havoc for Hungary with Bale, Ramsey and Daniel James all playing at full-tilt.
 
Bale had the first dangerous effort on goal when firing straight at goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi but Ramsey found a way through shortly after.
 
Bale again found space to work some magic down the right and delivered a sensational cross that was met by a perfectly timed run by the Juventus midfielder to head home a very important opener.
 
Moore put another Bale just wide of the post as Wales continued to threaten.
 
However, out of nothing Hungary almost levelled on 33 minutes.
 
Adam Szalai nodded the ball down to Dominik Szoboszlai and his effort was saved brilliantly low down by Hennessey, who was called back into action seconds later to block away Roland Sallai's follow-up.
 
Wales doubled their lead within two minutes of the break.
 
Moore - a constant threat - met a left-wing free-kick and his volley fell to Ramsey about six yards out and he didn't waste the opportunity.
 
Ramsey almost completed his hat-trick but Gulacsi stuck out a leg to prevent the ball from nestling in the bottom corner.
 
There were little problems for Wales up the other end as the final whistle triggered jubilant scenes in Cardiff.
 
There were jubilant scenes after the final whistle
 

Player Ratings

Wales: Hennessey (8), Davies (7), Mepham (7), Roberts (7), Lockyer (7), Morrell (7), Allen (8), Ramsey (9), Bale (8), Moore (8), James (8)
Subs: Ampadu (7), Wilson (N/A)
 
Hungary: Gulacsi (6), Lang (6), Nagy (6), Baráth (5), Dzsudzsak (5), A. Nagy (6), Szalai (6), Szoboszlai (6), Lovrencsics (6), Patkai (5), Sallai (6)
Subs: Kovacs (6), Holeder (6), Vargas (6)
 

Man of the match: Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey netted twice as Wales made it to Euro 2020
 
You'd have been forgiven for forgetting just how influential Ramsey is for Wales with injury problems hampering his international appearance tally. This was his first start for his country for over a year and he delivered, showcasing just what Wales had been missing.
 
His drive, enthusiasm and quality playing just off Moore was the catalyst for all of Wales' dangerous play. When his country needed him in front of goal, he answered the call with two close-range finishes that put Wales in control. That's the beauty of Ramsey, he makes the game look very easy when in this type of form.
 

Manager reaction

Wales boss Ryan Giggs: "It doesn't get any better than that. Credit to the lads, coming back from where we were in the summer after two defeats. We showed grit, determination and quality. It's one of the best days of my life.
 
"We defended really well but we can play better. Overall, two goals and a clean sheet and they didn't really trouble us apart from the save from Wayne Hennessey in the first half.
 
"This side can do a lot more. There is quality in the squad, not just the XI. Every player has shown their class, some of the lads were on their last legs at the end there.
 
"To be honest I haven't really thought about what it means personally - there's been a lot of hard work put in and I am blessed with the best staff I could ask for."
 
Ryan Giggs called Wales’ 2-0 win over Hungary one of the ‘best nights of his life’ after the result meant Wales qualify for Euro 2020.
 

Opta stats

  • Wales have won back-to-back competitive games for the first time under Giggs, having last done so in October 2017 under Chris Coleman (three in a row).
  • Hungary have now lost six of their last seven away games in major tournament qualification (World Cup and European Championships), failing to score in five of those.
  • Bale has been directly involved in 12 goals in his last 11 home competitive games for Wales, scoring nine and assisting three.

Match Highlights

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