Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 April 2020

Wales have 'momentum' says Ryan Giggs as Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey come through Azerbaijan win unscathed

Victory over Hungary in Cardiff on Tuesday will see Wales qualify for Euro 2020

Ryan Giggs said Wales' 2-0 win over Azerbaijan is proof they have found "momentum" ahead of the final match qualifier against Hungary that will determine if they qualify for Euro 2020.

First-half goals from Kieffer Moore and Harry Wilson gave Wales a comfortable victory in Baku. With Croatia sealing their place in next year's finals thanks to a 3-1 win over Slovakia later on Saturday, Wales can secure their spot alongside them with victory over Hungary in Cardiff on Tuesday.

"The result was what counted, getting that was the priority," Giggs said.

"Some of the quality of the play was outstanding, we've improved since the Azerbaijan game [2-1 home win in September].

"We've started to gain some momentum, which is not easy in international football.

"Azerbaijan is not an easy place to come and there was so much on the game that it's up there with one of my best performances."

Giggs will have been heartened to see star players Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey feature in Baku ahead of Tuesday's crunch Group E encounter after their recent injury problems.

Bale had not played for over a month after suffering a thigh injury, but the Real Madrid forward player nearly an hour before being replaced by Juventus midfielder Ramsey making his first Wales appearance in nearly a year.

"We've still got to assess it before Tuesday," Giggs said. "Getting Gareth off pretty early and getting Aaron some minutes as well was important, When Aaron came on he showed his quality.

"It's a quick turnaround and Gareth was blowing a little bit, which you can expect.

"But hopefully I'll have the option to start both on Tuesday.

"We had to do our job, we've done it and tried put a little bit of pressure on Slovakia."

Wales sit third in the group a point behind Hungary on 11 with victory in the Welsh capital guaranteed to take them through to a second successive European Championship after they reached the semi-finals four years ago in France.

On Wales' upturn in form, Giggs added: "I would say we've had four good performances in a row, with the Belarus friendly.

"Slovakia and Croatia are top opposition and we played well. It's what we needed after the two difficult games in the summer.

"We needed to be strong and we have been. We really dug in deep against Croatia.

"I was not happy with the amount of corners we kept giving away here, but in open play they never really troubled us and we could have scored a few more goals as well."

Azerbaijan have yet to win in Euro 2020 qualifying and have picked up only one point from seven matches.

Manager Nikola Jurcevic said: "Wales deserved to win this game because they were the better team.

"We conceded goals from set-pieces, not for the first time against very big players.

"We had lots of set-pieces ourselves but the big difference between us and Wales was that they were really dangerous from theirs."

Updated: November 17, 2019 08:14 AM



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