Wales are more than just Bale
Wales 2 (Gareth Bale 10, Hal Robson-Kanu 81)
Slovakia 1 (Ondrej Duda)
The air of expectation was palpable in the Welsh section of the Stade Matmut Atlantique as Gareth Bale stood over the ball.
Soon after, they were bouncing with uninhibited joy, scarcely believing what they just seen.
They were counting on Bale. And he delivered in emphatic fashion.
Unleashing a swerving free-kick to beat the goalkeeper, the 26-year-old Real Madrid star set his country on its way to a 2-1 win over Slovakia to open their maiden European Championship campaign with a bang.
But there were excellent Welsh performers everywhere, from the hardworking Jonathan Williams to the reliable Joe Allen to the confident Ashley Williams.
But Slovakia fought back in the second half, equalising through substitute Ondrej Duda just after the hour mark.
Wales, though, had the last say when substitute Hal Robson-Kanu fired in the winner nine minutes from time.
Bale had taken pains to reiterate that Wales are not a one-man team, which many found hard to believe at first.
But he may be right after all.
Read the full report in The New Paper on Sunday (June 12)