2 July 2016
The story of underdog victory continued Friday night at the ongoing Euro 2016 championship as Wales defeated Belgium 3 – 1 to proceed to the semis. The latest underdog victory before this was Iceland’s round of 16 victory over England.
Ranked the second best national team in the world by FIFA, many expected Belgium to win the tie. Maybe not so easily, but a lot of people would have placed their bet on the young Belgium team.
The victory over Belgium is the most important victory in the history of the Welsh national team as they’ve never reached the semifinals of any major tournament.
The current team have now surpassed the feat of the Welsh team that reached the quarter-finals of the 1958 World Cup.
Already a legend for the Welsh team at only 26, Gareth Bale has led his team quite well at the Euro championship having recorded two goals with a lot of spirited performances.
With this win, Bale has done what Welsh legends like John Charles and Ivor Allchurch, Cliff Jones could not do in 1958.
Bale’s statement at the end of the game; “the best night ever in Welsh football” summed up the importance of this achievement.
Bale and co went a goal down in the 13th minute when Chelsea summer transfer target, Radja Nainggolan fired an absolute rocket into the back of the net from 30 yards. The pass came from Chelsea man, Eden Hazard.
The lead only lasted 20 minutes as Welsh captain, Ashley Williams equalised with a strong header from a fine Aaron Ramsey corner.
With the two teams level at half time, Belgium came out firing in the second half, seeing a couple of half chances, but it was Wales who took the lead 10 minutes in when Hal Robson-Kanu’s lovely turn in between two Belgian defenders created a fine shooting chance for him and he made no mistake. He brought a Ramsey cross under his control right in the middle of the defenders before doing a Cruyff turn to set up the goal.
On their way to the semis already, Wales were not done with the Belgians and they made it three in the 85th minute when substitute, Sam Vokes headed in from the near post.
The match ended 3 goals in favour of Wales thanks to poor man marking from the Begium defense. All three goals scored by Wales could have been avoided if the Belgians closed up on the Welsh inside their 18 yard box.
Wales will now play Portugal in the semis, setting up a rare clash between two of the most expensive players in the world, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, both team mates at Real Madrid.
All we can say right now is may the best man win!!!