The story between Wales and England, companions on the ladder in Great Britain, is not watered with blood like other great rivalries. In fact, many English people like to look down on their neighbors to the west. And football is not rugby either, where they do look into each other's eyes. But with the passport to the round of 16 of a World Cup at stake, the morbidity was palpable in the environment. On the green, as on paper, there was no color and it was England that came out unanimously victorious again, sending Wales back to their beautiful home and securing first place, meeting Senegal in the round of 16.
Although it did not later move to the grass in the form of a show, the neighborhood passion was felt in the stands of the Ahmad Bin Ali stadium long before the start. Not only was the future of both in Qatar at stake, but also (and almost more importantly) the honor of two British nations that share a King. And that was already noticeable when the chords of the hymns sounded, which were sung vehemently on both sides, the Welsh applause was tremendous when the chords of their Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau finished.
But Rob Page's team did not know how to transfer all that energy to the green, turning the match into an English monologue. On the first day of the calculator in Qatar, the urgent need for the Welsh to add the three points to avoid going home was not noticed. Or, surely, it could not be noticed given the limited potential of a team for which the World Cup passport is already a prize. Quite the opposite happens with England, for which a draw was enough to secure first place and avoid the Netherlands, but also with its limitations, despite having brutal potential, it was the only one that tried to peek into the opposing goal.
If it hadn't been for Joe Allen's shot with his left foot in the fifth minute of first-half stoppage, Wales would have gone to the locker room without having shot on or off goal. Quite the opposite of those from Southgate, who without much fanfare put Danny Ward to the test. In fact, the skillful Welsh goalkeeper averted a major disaster. After ten minutes, Harry Kane connected with Rashford, a forward as brilliant as irregular, who was unable to beat Ward in a one-on-one.
The ruling was like a blow to the three lions, who spent almost half an hour without giving Ward work again. They were minutes of nothing soccer. To honor history, England attacked, Wales defended, and time passed. But the marker was dying of famine.
Completely absent from the pitch, Bale was substituted at half-time and who knows if he said goodbye to his international career through the back door. Curiously, without the Welsh golfer came the final debacle for Wales, who was expelled from the World Cup in two minutes. Right out of the locker room, Rashford found the squad, not without a slight push from Ward, after a great free-kick. After a few seconds, still in a daze, Davies calamitously lost a ball to Kane, who gifted the second to Foden, just at the far post. The only reaction was a shot from Moore that deflected Maguire and forced Pickford to react, in his only intervention of the night.
The night had been uphill for Wales from the initial whistle but after those two blows he already lowered his arms completely, less resilient than his Celtic origins indicate, and could not avoid the third, which also took Rashford under the arm after a great play. The Welsh were leaving through the back door of the World Cup and on top of that they had to listen to the neighbor's party.
0 - Gales: Ward; Williams (Roberts, m.36), Mepham, Rodon, Davies (Morrell, m.59); Ampadu, Allen (Colwill, m.81), Ramsey; Bale (Johnson, m.46), James (Wilson, m.75) y Moore.
3 - Inglaterra: Pickford; Walker (Alexander-Arnold, m.57), Stones, Maguire, Shaw (Trippier, m.65); Henderson, Rice (Phillips, m.57), Bellingham; Foden, Rashford (Grealihs, m.75) y Kane (Wilson, m.57).
Goals: 0-1. m.50: Rashford. 0-2. m.52: The foot. 0-3, m.68:. Rashford.
Referee: Slavko Vinci (SLO) cautioned James (m.29) and Ramsey (m.61) for Wales
Incidents: Match corresponding to the third day of Group B of the group stage of the Qatar 2022 World Cup played at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium (Doha) before 44,297 spectators.