Gareth Bale on Wednesday made sure his missed penalty did not matter by setting up two goals as the Wales captain created chance after chance in their 2-0 Group A victory over Turkey at UEFA Euro 2020.
Bale lofted a pass over the defense that Aaron Ramsey chested down before knocking it past onrushing Turkey goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir in the 42nd minute.
Connor Roberts scored the second in the final seconds of injury-time after Bale dribbled along the touchline from a short corner.
Turkey have zero points after losing both of their matches.
“We all turned up, we all put in a great performance and I felt we deserved the victory,” Bale said. “If you’d offered us four points [from two games] at the start of the campaign, we’d have bitten your hand off.”
Bale had a chance to score one himself in the 61st minute, but he sent his penalty-kick over the bar after being tripped by Zeki Celik on the edge of the area.
“I felt I played well all evening. The penalty miss is my fault, of course I take responsibility, but I think it shows the character,” Bale said. “I kept going, I kept fighting away and I got the second assist to kill off the game.”
The Wales captain has not scored for his country in 13 games. His last goal came against Croatia in Euro 2020 qualifying in October 2019.
After the match, the team gathered around their captain for a rousing victory speech.
Bale later said that he joked about his penalty miss, and tried to bring the players and staff together.
“He wears the armband for a reason. Everybody in life and in football gets knock-backs and setbacks, and missing the penalty was a bitter blow for him,” Wales coach Robert Page said. “He showed an enormous amount of courage to react in a positive way from the penalty miss.”
Ramsey had two earlier chances to score off passes from Bale before finally giving his team the lead.
He had one shot saved by the goalkeeper early and then scooped the ball over the bar.
“Third time lucky. I had a couple of opportunities, but there’s nothing I could do about them,” Ramsey said.
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