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Wales beat Slovakia to cap dream EURO debut

Wales 2-1 Slovakia
Substitute Hal Robson-Kanu scores with nine minutes left to give Wales an opening victory in Group B.

EURO 2016 highlights: Wales 2-1 Slovakia
  • Hal Robson-Kanu comes off bench to give Wales victory with nine minutes to go
  • Gareth Bale's early free-kick cancelled out by substitute Ondrej Duda with virtually his first touch
  • Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey ruled out before kick-off with back injury, Danny Ward won third cap
  • Next Group B fixtures, 15 June: Russia v Slovakia, 16 June: England v Wales
  • All the build-up, match action and reaction as it happened on UEFA.com

Substitute Hal Robson-Kanu applied the finishing touch after an Aaron Ramsey assist to give Wales victory against Slovakia on their UEFA EURO finals debut on Saturday.

Wales had been grateful to Ben Davies for his crucial early goalline clearance after Marek Hamšík's superb solo run. And not long afterwards Jonathan Williams, preferred up front to Robson-Kanu, was fouled on the edge of the box and Gareth Bale drilled in a dipping free-kick to give his team a tenth-minute lead.

Now the pressure was on Danny Ward, winning only his third cap in the Wales goal due to Wayne Hennessey's late back injury. For an hour Ward was kept well protected and at the other end Matúš Kozáčik did well to scoop away a Bale header.

But Slovakia went for a double attacking change either side of the hour mark by introducing Adam Nemec and Ondrej Duda, who promptly turned in Róbert Mak's pass. However, another substitute ensured it was Wales who took the points, despite Nemec hitting the post with four minutes left.