Slovakia started well. In the third minute Davies loses possession mid-way inside his own half, and Hamsik slices through the Welsh defence and the goalkeeper! He seems certain to score … but Davies had charged back after losing the ball and slides in to perform a sensational last-gasp clearance off the line!
Bale triggers an explosion of Welsh joy in Bordeaux by sending a swirling freekick into the net from afar! The keeper was completely bewildered by the varying flight of the ball, and Wales have the start they dreamed of in ten minutes of the first half.
What an impact from the substitute! Mak made an excellent run into the box, shrugging off Ramsey and laying the ball in to Duda, who decks Ashley Williams with a little feint and then fires low into the net! That’s a hell of a first touch!
But it was substitute Robson-Kanu scrappy goal that ended the second half and gives the three point. After 58 years, Wales can celebrate not merely participation in a major tournament – but a victory! They made an accomplished start but were on the ropes for a while in the second half, but the introductions of Robson-Kanu and Ledley turned things back in their favour before Robson-Kanu secured an historic win. It’s the perfect start for Wales, and who’s to say how it will end. There’ll be an epoch-defining party in Bordeaux tonight, for one thing.