International round-up: Tottenham duo of Joe Rodon and Ben Davies instrumental in securing “historic” World Cup qualification for Wales
Tottenham Hotspur star Ben Davies and his compatriot Joe Rodon put in a gargantuan display at the back to keep Ukraine at bay and help Wales secure their first FIFA World Cup qualification in 64 years.
Gareth Bale’s freekick in the 34th minute which deflected in off Andriy Yarmolenko turned out to be the difference in a narrow 1-0 win for Wales, and they had their impeccable display at the back to be thankful for, courtesy of Spurs duo Davies and Rodon.
Davies has been a player reborn since the arrival of Antonio Conte, after looking out of place under former boss Nuno Espirito Santos. The 29-year-old has been a revelation, excelling as a left centre-back in Conte’s signature back three.
The former Swansea man has been deployed in the same role in the Welsh national team set-up and the outcome has been just as fruitful, but never sweeter than last night.
A big day for Spurs’ defensive duo
Less-coveted than Bale and Aaron Ramsey but just as important, Davies led Rodon and starlet Ethan Ampadu through waves of Ukrainian pressure. He made an incredible last-ditch tackle just before the hour mark to deny Yarmolenko after the West Ham forward was through on goal.
While Davies had featured regularly over the course of the season, Rodon’s fortunes have been contrasting when it has come to regular game time. The centre-back registered only 4 appearances this term, and a move away from North London is very much on the cards this summer.
However, the 24-year-old can be proud of his monumental shift last night and despite having an anxious couple of moments, Rodon seemed very comfortable and purposeful in position.
Mention must also go to Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennesey, who arguably had one of the best games in his career. Tottenham legend Gareth Bale, whose future still remains up in the air following his departure from Real Madrid, is not very likely to secure a return to Hotspur Way.
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However, Spurs’ social media handle shared a picture of the Welsh superstar alongside Davies and Rodon, so could that potentially hint at something? Never say never.