Wales defeat Finland to book Euro 2024 play-off final spot


Wales will face Poland for a place at Euro 2024 after defeating Finland 4 – 1 in their play-off semi final in Cardiff.

Goals from David Brooks, Nico Williams, Brennan Johnson and Dan James ensured an emphatic win for Robert Page’s men.

Substitute Dan James celebrated his 50th international cap by scoring a wonderful individual effort in the second half in Wales’ crushing victory over Finland in Cardiff as his country reached the European Championship play-off final.

David Brooks gave the hosts a perfect start in the third minute when he followed up Harry Wilson's rebound.

Nico Williams made it 2-0 in the 38th minute when he shot into the top corner after a free kick played by Wilson from the edge of the penalty area, and Teemu Pukki reduced the gap for Finland before the break when he scored his 40th goal at international level.

Brennan Johnson restored Wales' two-goal lead with a shot from close range in the 47th minute after a header from Ethan Ampadu. Substitute captain Ben Davies thought he had scored the fourth goal in the 79th minute, before it was canceled after the intervention of the video assistant referee (VAR).

James, who participated in the 73rd minute instead of Johnson, scored the fourth goal in the 86th minute after he raced past goalkeeper Lukas Hradecki and easily shot into the net.

Wales will play now face Poland, who won 5-1 over ten-men Estonia, in the Euro 2024 play-off final.

Manager Rob Page said: “We could have scored five or six goals. This shows how far our level has advanced.”

“But the message is: The first part is only over, we have huge stock to perform well again on Tuesday, we can't wait.

“Dan James was fantastic, in his 50th game, he scored the goal he deserved. It shows the confidence he has in him.

“We have a group of players coming off the bench who are full of confidence... You can really see that in the performance.”

Wales qualified for the 2022 World Cup finals through the playoffs, and is on the cusp of reaching the European Championship for the third time in a row and the first since the retirement of legendary winger Gareth Bale.

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