June 7, 2022 Sports Betting
Wales rapidly resumed their UEFA Nations League campaign with the visit of the Netherlands in League A Group 4 on Wednesday night, returning to a party atmosphere in Cardiff.
Rob Page led the Dragons to their first World Cup in 64 years with a win over Ukraine, while the Oranje just thrashed Belgium 4-1.
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There was clearly some dispute surrounding Wales’ 1-0 win over a tenacious Ukraine side on Sunday night, but the score in the top-left corner was the only statistic that mattered for the Dragons, who put an end to 64 years of agony on the world’s largest stage.
As Wales booked their tickets to Qatar to prepare for battles against Iran, the United States, and, of course, England, Ukraine captain Andriy Yarmolenko directed Gareth Bale’s free kick into his own net, he felt aggrieved after an apparent stonewall penalty from Joe Allen’s strike was not given.
While the Dragons’ fans would have partied late into the night, Page’s players still have three Nations League matches to play over the next six days, but a makeshift side played valiantly against Poland before losing 2-1.
Wales spent two years battling for promotion in League B before making it to the big time, and their setback to Poland was their sole loss in 11 matches across all tournaments, and Cardiff is nothing if not a fortress.
Indeed, since falling to Denmark in the inaugural Nations League, the World Cup participants had gone 19 games without losing in front of their own fans, but the Netherlands put down a marker in their recent trip to Brussels.
The Netherlands delivered a ruthless attacking effort to shame the world’s second-ranked team, perhaps thanking their fortunate stars that Belgium’s all-time leading goalscorer Romelu Lukaku was forced off the field with a twisted ankle after only 27 minutes of action in Brussels.
Memphis Depay scored twice after an hour, joining Steven Bergwijn and Denzel Dumfries in putting an end to any hopes of a Belgium comeback. The Red Devils did get a late consolation through Michy Batshuayi, but the day belonged to the orange.
With one game remaining in League A Group 4, the Netherlands are still unblemished since their shock last-16 exit to the Czech Republic at Euro 2020, winning seven and drawing three times in all competitions since then.
It’s also been almost a year since the 2010 World Cup finalists have lost on the road, where they’ve gone undefeated in four Nations League games and haven’t conceded a goal. Since October 2020, Bosnia and Herzegovina has controlled the territory. It’s also been almost a year since the 2010 World Cup finalists have lost on the road, where they’ve gone undefeated in four Nations League games and haven’t conceded a goal. Since October 2020, Bosnia and Herzegovina has controlled the territory.
Furthermore, the Oranje have faced Wales on eight previous times and have won all eight, so Louis van Gaal’s side will travel to Cardiff determined to spoil the Dragons’ World Cup celebrations, even if the home crowd’s enthusiasm will not be dampened.
After the weekend’s achievements, the result of Wednesday’s game should pale into insignificance for a much-changed Wales side, but Page’s second-string XI nevertheless performed admirably against Poland.
Changes are likely on the visitors’ side as they look to end the Dragons’ long unbeaten run at home, but we can only imagine Van Gaal’s ruthless team delivering a severe reality check to Wales in Cardiff.