Wales’ hopes of qualifying for Euro 2024 took a hit as they were unable to secure a victory against an energetic Armenia team in Yerevan. Despite celebrating an own goal by Nair Tiknizyan, Wales ultimately had to settle for a 1-1 draw, leaving them disappointed. In order to secure direct qualification for the finals in Germany, the team led by Rob Page needed to win their last two matches in Group D. However, their destiny is no longer under their control.
To maintain their diminishing chances, Wales must rely on Croatia, who reached the World Cup semi-finals, to lose points in their upcoming matches against Latvia and Armenia. Additionally, Wales themselves must defeat the leaders of the group, Turkey, in Cardiff. Otherwise, they will have to settle for a playoff match in order to secure a spot in next summer’s tournament.
To be honest, Wales were fortunate to leave with a draw against a dynamic Armenia team. In the fifth minute of the game, Lucas Zelarayan impressively scored the first goal for the home team. However, in the added time of the first half, Wales managed to level the score with an own goal from Nair Tiknizyan.
Armenia nearly secured a well-deserved win against Wales, as Vahan Bichakhchyan struck the underside of the crossbar and Zelarayan missed the chance to score on the rebound.
The performance exhibited by Wales was underwhelming, particularly when considering the significance of the match. Following their remarkable victory over Croatia with a score of 2-1 just a month ago, this subpar performance today lacked the skill and elegance needed in the attacking zone. The equalizing goal, resulting from a lengthy throw-in and a header by a player from the home team, emphasized Wales’ inability to produce desired results.
Securing automatic qualification will now pose a challenging task for Wales, as Croatia currently holds a strong position to secure the second place in Group D, trailing behind Turkey. If Wales fails to achieve this, they will need to regroup and concentrate on earning a play-off spot for Euro 2024 through the UEFA Nations League. In spite of the disappointment, coach Rob Page maintains a positive outlook and urges his team to end the camp on a high note. He acknowledges that there is still work to be accomplished before the potential play-off in March.
Lucas Zelarayan displayed outstanding performance for Armenia, scoring an exceptional opening goal and posing difficulties for the Welsh defense throughout the match. He had the opportunity to secure a victory for Armenia, but his missed chance in the second half allowed Wales to escape with a draw.
Armenia: Chancharevich 7; Arutiunian 6, Haroyan 6, Calisir 6, Tikinizyan 6; Spertsyan 7, Bichakhchyan 7, Iwu 6; Dashyan 7, Zelarayan 7, Ranos 6 Subs: Sevikyan 6, Miranyan 6, Harutyunyan 7 Wales: Ward with a rating of 7; Mepham with 6, Rodon with 7, B. Davies with 6; Roberts with 7, Ampadu with 6, J. James with 6, Williams with 6; Wilson with 6, Brooks with 6, Moore with 6. Substitutes: D. James with 7, Johnson with 6, Broadhead with 6.
In the 5th minute, Armenia takes the lead as Lucas Zelarayán scores an impressive goal from the box’s edge. 37′ – The Welsh team almost scores a goal to even the score, but the Armenian goalkeeper makes a save on Harry Wilson’s shot.
45+1′ – Wales celebrates as they score a goal! Joe Rodon and Nair Tiknizyan both contest a long throw-in, causing an own goal and bringing the score level for Wales.
61′ – Armenia comes close to taking the lead once again as Vahan Bichakhchyan’s shot hits the lower part of the crossbar.
88′ – Wales has a fantastic opportunity to score, but Ethan Ampadu’s header goes directly into the hands of the Armenian goalkeeper. In general, Wales’ performance was quite underwhelming, and their hopes of directly qualifying for Euro 2024 have suffered a significant setback. To have any chance of securing a place in the finals, they will require a string of favorable outcomes and a strong ending to their campaign.