Wales' Euro 2024 dreams crushed by shoot-out defeat to Poland


Wales were left heartbroken as their hopes of qualification for Euro 2024 were crushed by a 5-4 penalty shoot-out defeat to Poland in Cardiff on Tuesday night.

Rob Page's side had thumped Finland 4-1 in their qualifying play-off semi-final last Thursday and battled admirably at the Cardiff City Stadium, limiting Robert Lewandowski and Co to just one shot on target through the initial 90 minutes and extra-time and having an effort of their own ruled out by VAR.

They were reduced to 10 men seconds before the game's finale, when Chris Mepham was shown a second yellow card for a lunge on Lewandowski.

After four perfect penalties from each side, Krzysztof Piatek scored Poland's fifth, which left Leeds forward James with the responsibility of scoring to take the shoot-out to sudden death.

But former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny guessed correctly and dived to keep out James' effort, leaving the hordes of Welsh fans inside the stadium shellshocked after their side missed out on a third consecutive European Championship campaign.