Robson-Kanu strikes late to give Wales 2-1 win over Slovakia
BORDEAUX, France (AP) Hal Robson-Kanu scored a late goal as Wales beat Slovakia 2-1 at the European Championship on Saturday in his team's first match at a major competition since the 1958 World Cup.
His scuffed shot from 12 meters in the 81st minute came 10 minutes after he had come on as substitute in the Group B match in Bordeaux.
Gareth Bale had given Wales the lead in the 10th minute when he curled in a free kick. Ondrej Duda equalized with his first touch for Slovakia in the 61st, a minute after he came on as a substitute.
Slovakia had enjoyed much of the early possession and almost took the lead as soon as the third minute when Marek Hamsik's effort was cleared off the line by an excellent sliding interception from defender Ben Davies.
Wales slowly got into its stride and took the lead soon after a foul on midfielder Jonathan Williams. Although the subsequent free kick from Bale, who won the Champions League with Real Madrid two weeks, was fairly central, the movement on the ball was enough to deceive Matus Kozacik.
Wales felt it should have had a chance to double its lead from the penalty spot late in the first half when Martin Skrtel appeared to ram his arm into Jonathan Williams' face, but referee Svein Oddvar Moen awarded a goal kick instead.
Wales coach Chris Coleman was forced into a late change after goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was ruled out of the match with a back injury. Hennessey, who conceded just four goals in qualifying, was replaced by Liverpool's Danny Ward. The 22-year-old had made just two appearances for Wales before, both as a halftime substitute during friendlies.
Both teams were making their debuts at the European Championship.