Wales whip Russia 3-0 to win Euro group
TOULOUSE, France (AP):
Wales advanced to the European Championship's knockout stages as group winners after comprehensively beating Russia 3-0 yesterday. Goals from Aaron Ramsey, Neil Taylor and Gareth Bale, his third in consecutive games at Euro 2016, ensured that Wales won Group B ahead of England, who could only draw 0-0 with Slovakia.
Ramsey opened the scoring in the 11th minute after a quick counterattack, chipping the ball over the advancing goalkeeper. Taylor doubled the advantage nine minutes later after slotting in a rebound, his first international goal. Bale then made it 3-0 in the 67th minute with an audacious shot that makes him the tournament's leading scorer.
"It's probably the best performance I've been involved in with Wales," said Bale. "To top the group, what more can you ask? We said we didn't want to make the numbers up. Well, we can't do any more than win the group."
For Russia, defeat meant their time at Euro 2016 is over and coach Leonid Slutsky gave a major hint that he won't be the man in charge for much longer. The team, which only earned one point in a disappointing campaign, will now focus on the World Cup, which it is hosting in two years.
"I think after a type of tournament like this, you need someone else to take charge of the national side for major competitions," Slutsky said after the match.