YEREVAN — When in June, Armenians defeated Wales in Cardiff (the capital city of this United Kingdom constituent country) 2:4 in the Euro 2024 qualifying games and then won against the Latvians, they climbed to the second position in the group and the chances for qualifying in the play-off games next year seemed to be feasible. Although the subsequent rounds were not entirely successful, the theoretical possibilities continue to exist, making the win against Cardiff’s squad in Yerevan on November 18 a must-do task. However, Wales also needed a victory, which perhaps explains why an unprecedented significant number of fans from Wales arrived in Armenia and were present at the Republican Stadium.
Both teams played with dedication, and midfielder #10 Lukas Zelarayan scored only five minutes into the match. The score, however, was leveled (and remained unchanged) by the end of the second half, when Armenian defender Nair Tiknizyan struck his own goal, thus depriving Armenia of a needed victory. Near the end of the second half, Armenians made several attempts, but none succeeded. Once, after Vahan Bichakhchyan’s strike, the ball hit the goalpost but didn’t make it into the net.
“We showed a reaction and tried to dominate the game, but we couldn’t put the ball in the net,” Wales midfielder Ethan Ampadu said on BBC Radio Wales, implying that it was not a Wales player that had struck the ball that saved them from defeat.
The last qualifying match Armenians will play is against Croatia on Tuesday, November 21. However, with Croatia winning against Latvia today, Armenia lost even a theoretical chance of making it to the European play-off games independent from the last play’s result.