Towering striker Kieffer Moore claimed a point for Wales, giving the team a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in a Group A match of Euro 2020 here on Saturday.
About 25 minutes after Breel Embolo had put the Swiss in the leading position with his header, Moore headed in a cross from Joe Morrell in the 74th minute to tie the score.
“It’s great personally. I think it’s a good start for us. We would have liked a win but to take a draw from the first game to put us in a good position is everything for us,” said Moore.
Wales interim coach Robert Page was satisfied with Moore’s performance, reports Xinhua. “He’s not just a presence up top, he’s more than that. His linkup play is good, he’s got a good touch for a big lad and he’s a willing runner,” he said.
Moore nearly pulled one back for Wales with a looping header, but Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer managed to push the ball over the bar. Moore got injured in a clash on the resulting corner, with the consequence that he left the field bleeding and returned in bandages.
Switzerland dominated the rhythm but wasted several good chances before Embolo scored the opener in the 49th minute. The Swiss thought they had a winning goal after Moore’s header when Mario Gavranovic put the ball into the net, but it was judged offside in VAR review.
Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward made a perfect save to deny another Embolo header later on.
“We showed a lot of fight, determination,” Wales captain Gareth Bale said. “We have to use this as a springboard now to the next game.”
According to UEFA, a total of 8,782 spectators witnessed the match, even though authorities in Azerbaijan have given permission for 31,000 for this year’s tournament.
Italy tops Group A with three points after its 3-0 victory over Turkey on Friday. Both Wales and Switzerland have one point and Wales will face Turkey next.