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Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey step up for Wales vs Turkey

·2 min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey showed their character as Wales' star duo dusted themselves off and led their team to a vital 2-0 victory over Turkey - and with it, a likely spot in the last-16 of Euro 2020.

Ramsey and Bale flattered to deceive in Wales' opening Group A game - a 1-1 draw against Switzerland - but were on song in Baku despite in-game setbacks against the Turks.

Juventus midfielder Ramsey missed two chances set up by Bale in the first half, but it was third time lucky as the former Arsenal star put Wales ahead with a brilliant goal off another Bale set-up.

Bale lofted a pass over the defense that Ramsey chested down before knocking it past onrushing Turkey goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir in the 42nd minute.

The Real Madrid forward Bale, who spent last season on loan at Tottenham, had a chance to score one of his own from the penalty spot just past the hour-mark, but sent his effort way over the bar after being tripped by Zeki Celik on the edge of the area.

However, Bale rallied and led from the front in the closing stages, setting up Connor Roberts in the second in the final seconds of injury time after dribbling along the byline from a short corner.

The win moved the Euro 2016 semi-finalists closer to a place in the last 16 with four points in Group A, while Turkey are rock bottom with two defeats and no goals scored.

"We all turned up, we all put in a great performance and I felt we deserved the victory," Bale said. "If you'd offered us four points (from two games) at the start of the campaign we'd have bitten your hand off."

Regarding his penalty and recovery for Wales' second goal, Bale said: "I felt I played well all evening. The penalty miss is my fault, of course I take responsibility, but I think it shows the character. I kept going, I kept fighting away and I got the second assist to kill off the game."

After the match, the team gathered around their captain for a rousing, emphatic victory speech. Bale said later that he joked about his penalty miss and tried to bring the players and staff together.

"He wears the armband for a reason. Everybody in life and in football gets knock-backs and setbacks and missing the penalty was a bitter blow for him," Wales coach Robert Page said. "He showed an enormous amount of courage to react in a positive way from the penalty miss."

Ramsey said of his own goal after the early misses: "Third time lucky. I had a couple of opportunities, but there's nothing I could do about them.

“Now we can go to Italy (for the third game Sunday) full of confidence and who knows what can happen there."

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