When a former lifeguard scores to salvage a draw and save his team the blushes, you know you've got a story on your hands. That is exactly what happened as Slovakia faced off against Wales in the Group E Euro 2020 qualifier. Kieffer Moore turned saviour, perhaps not for the first time, as the Wigan Athletic striker put Wales ahead in the 25th minute. The assist for the strike was laid on by none other than Manchester United winger, Daniel James.
Daniel James found space inside the box and lobbed the ball into Slovakia goalkeeper Martin Dubravka's box, as Kieffer Moore duly headed in the cross to send Ryan Giggs' men up in the 25th minute. Newcastle United goalkeeper, Martin Dubravka had been in fine form for his club in the Premier League, but he could do little more than watch, as Keifer Moore cushioned his header into Dubraka's goal. Moore's goal came seconds after Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale had struck a header against the crossbar. Daniel James had been kept in close check, up until the 25th minute. The speedy winger, however, found just enough space to cross for Keiffer Moore to head Wales in front. What made the goal even more special for the Wigan striker was that this was his first competitive game for Wales and only his second appearance for the Welsh national team.
Wales manager Ryan Giggs chose to employ a compact 4-2-3-1 system, with Daniel James and Gareth Bale occupying the wings, and Charlton midfielder Jonathan William starting in the #10 role. Giggs's system was generally compact, but one would require a lot more than a compact formation to keep Slovakian captain Marek Hamšík quiet. The former Napoli midfielder laid on a beautiful ball to send Robert Mak through. The winger, however, shot straight at Wayne Hennessey, who made a comfortable block to keep Wales' lead intact. Ryan Giggs's men also had a penalty shout when Jonathan Williams seemed to have been brought down by Norbert Gyomber. The replays, however, showed that the referee made the right decision in waving off the appeal.
Wales fullback Ben Davies seemed to have a tough time keeping Slovakian midfielder Juraj Kucka in check, with Kucka nutmegging the Tottenham fullback in the first-half stoppage time. The midfielder, however, only managed to fire wide from the chance. In the 53rd minute, Kucka had another chance. This one would prove decisive. Jonathan Williams, excellent throughout this match, could only manage to head a clearance as far as the edge of Hennessey's penalty area, and Kucka duly obliged, as he hammered home an amazing volley to bring Slovakia level in the 53rd minute. Wales had another chance in the dying minutes, as substitute Harry Wilson released Moore, who passed on the favour to Daniel James. The winger, however, could only manage a wild shot after collecting the pass inside the box. Come the full-time whistle, James' head in hand was the picture that summed up Wales' night.