CARDIFF (Reuters) – Wales made a winning start to their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign after Daniel James scored his first international goal on his competitive debut to give them a 1-0 home win over Slovakia in a lively Group E clash on Sunday.
The Swansea midfielder delighted the home fans in a packed Cardiff City stadium when he robbed defender Peter Pekarik of the ball and unleashed a stinging low shot past keeper Martin Dubravka in the fifth minute.
The Slovakians, who beat Hungary 2-0 at home in their opening match on Thursday, went close to snatching a draw in the second half but were denied by a pair of superb saves from Wayne Hennessey.
The Wales keeper thwarted Albert Rusnak from close range in the 54th minute and kept out a Michal Duris header with an acrobatic save in the 74th as the visitors pressed forward relentlessly in search of an equaliser.
In between those two chances, Dubravka somehow parried a stinging Harry Wilson volley while Pekarik almost made amends for his early error when he headed inches wide of the far post in the closing stages.
Later on Sunday, Hungary host Croatia, who came from behind to beat Azerbaijan 2-1 in their opener on Thursday.
(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Toby Davis)