Euro 2016: Wales stun Belgium with incredible 3-1 win and progress into the semi-finals
Aaron Ramsey produced a man of the match performance to help his side reach the semis for the first time in their history
Wales produced one of the performances of the tournament by knocking out the highest ranked FIFA team at the Euros. Belgium took an early lead through Radja Naiggolan but Ashley Williams equalised for his side.
In the second half, they completed the comeback with goals from Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes sealing it for the Dragons
Wales XI : Hennessey; Gunter, Chester, A Williams, Davies, Taylor; Allen, Ledley; Ramsey, Bale; Robson-Kanu.
Belgium XI : Courtois; Meunier, Alderweireld, Denayer, J. Lukaku; Witsel, Nainggolan; Carrasco, De Bruyne, Hazard; R. Lukaku.
Marc Wimots had to name a makeshift back four after Jan Vertongen was injured and Thomas Vermaelen was suspended. The very promising Jason Denayer was brought in as the centre back and Jordan Lukaku filled in for the Tottenham man at right back.
Wales would need another special performance from Bale to take them through to the semi-finals. Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen would be their key men in midfield.
Belgium started the stronger, passing the ball with the kind of rhythm and swagger they had been doing in the last few games. The Red Devils should have taken the lead in the 7th minute. Jordan Lukaku whipped in a dangerous ball which was met by Carrasco.
The winger’s close-range effort was well saved by the keeper. The ball fell kindly first to Meunier and then Hazard but both their efforts were bravely blocked by the Welsh defence.
The Belgians eventually got their goal. Hazard popped it off to Radja Naiiggolan and the midfielder let one fly from 35 yards out and it arrowed in into the top left corner of the goal. Wayne Hennessey had absolutely no chance.
If previous games were to go by in this tournament then Wales are not a team to just give up. Complacency started to creep in and the Welsh took advantage. Ramsey delivered a corner and Ashley Willams had a free run, heading it into the back of the net to level things up.
Belgium did start the brighter in the second half but once again Wales wrestled back the momentum. In the 56th minute, to the shock of the whole crowd, Wales took the lead. Ramsey brought down a high ball held off his marker and crossed for Kanu. The striker left a defender for dead with a brilliant turn and then calmly sidefooted it past Thibaut Courtois.
Belgium had the opportunity to bring it back to 2-2. Marouane Fellaini who had come on for Carrasco should have scored from a beautiful delivery but his header went wide of the post. The Red Devils continued to push but 5 minutes before time the contest was over.
Chris Gunter once again put in a cross and Same Vokes who had just come on minutes before thumped a header past the despairing Courtois. If Iceland’s win against England was impressive this was an equally marvellous feat.