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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019
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Comfortable win in Baku sets Wales up for crunch Euro 2020 qualifier on Tuesday

First-half goals from Kieffer Moore and Harry Wilson were enough for Wales in Baku.

Wales boss Ryan Giggs.
Wales boss Ryan Giggs.
Image: PA

WALES EASED TO a 2-0 win over Group E’s bottom side Azerbaijan in Baku today to ensure their Euro 2020 qualification bid will go down to the wire.

Kieffer Moore scored for the second away game running to get Ryan Giggs’ side off the mark inside 10 minutes and Harry Wilson – on target in Wales’ last away win 11 months ago – added a second before half-time.

Despite creating chances there were no further goals for the visitors, who are already guaranteed the cushion of at least a play-off place, regardless of where they finish in their qualifying group.

Wales are now unbeaten in five games since back-to-back away losses in June and are within a point of second-place Hungary, who they face in their final qualifier on Tuesday, while Slovakia are a point behind and have a game in hand to play.

Azerbaijan have just one point from their seven group matches and were behind early on through Moore’s back-post header, the Wales striker leaping highest to meet Wilson’s whipped corner.

Emil Balayev produced a good save to deny Moore a second goal but there was no keeping out Wilson, who headed home the rebound after Daniel James’ curled shot from distance struck the crossbar and then the post.

Wales thought they had a third goal five minutes into the second half when Tom Lockyer headed in from close range, only for the referee to rule it out for Ethan Ampadu’s shove on Balayev.

Wilson was next to be denied by Balayev with an angled drive just before the hour mark, while Moore was wayward with a couple of efforts as Wales were made to settle for just the two goals.

This first away win in over a year for Wales lifts them a point above Slovakia, who face Group E leaders Croatia in their game in hand later on Saturday, and a point behind next opponents Hungary.

Giggs’ men require a victory against Hungary in Cardiff on Tuesday to automatically qualify for Euro 2020, though maximum points for Slovakia from their two remaining matches would render that result immaterial.

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