Wales continued their strong start to life in Group D as they edged past Latvia on the road to UEFA Euro 2024 qualification.
The path to Germany is going to be a complicated one for many teams. Some nations, of course, are going to struggle more so than others, but you can never rule out a big surprise or two along the way.
In this instance, the difference proved to be a solid header from Kieffer Moore just before half time that earned the Welsh three vital points.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at a few of our big takeaways from the encounter.
The Bale transition
Prior to kick-off, Wales gave record goalscorer and former talisman Gareth Bale a big send-off as he prepares for retirement. What followed, in many ways, was the legacy that he leaves behind. The Dragons are in a far stronger place than they were prior to his arrival on the scene and they were able to prove that. They serve as a cohesive unit and should be seen as a team that qualifies for the majority of major tournaments.
Latvia push to no avail
They may have only had 28% possession, but Latvia picked their moments with eight shots and three on target. They slowly but surely made progress throughout the course of the game and as proceedings entered the final furlong, it was beginning to get quite tense. They weren’t able to get over the finish line and earn a point but, as we predicted, they kept it close and caused a few palpitations in the crowd.
A big start
After earning a late draw with Croatia, Wales followed up with this vitally important victory. That leaves them top of their group ahead of Croatia and Turkey, two of their primary rivals to qualify. Sure, we’re still pretty early on in the process, but the fact that they’ve been able to make this kind of start will be great from a psychological standpoint. They are in with a real chance here and if they make it to their third Euros in a row, we can really start to label this as a golden generation.