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Wales vs Belgium a few quick thoughts

  • It was labelled as Wales’ biggest game in nearly 60 years
  • It will be remembered as Wales’ biggest win of all time
  • A sensational win for Chris Coleman’s side as they beat Belgium 3-1 to book a place in their first ever major tournament Semi Final
  • For many Belgium were pre tournament favourites but this so called golden generation goes home empty handed as they were simply outclassed by Wales
  • This is a  side who clearly showed what you can do when you have a system (Future England Manager take note)
  • The game started at a frenetic pace and Belgium had the early of the opening chances and it took some heroic defending to keep out a triple effort from Belgians.
  • Two goal line clearances and then Eden Hazard firing over the bar meant that Wales had survived their first scare
  • Gareth Bale then had his first shot in anger as he found space on the left
  • He ran with pace and was bearing down on Thibault Courtois’ goal but he couldn’t quite wrap his foot round the shot with his effort hitting the side netting
  • But then disaster struck
  • You got the feeling that if Wales were to concede it was going to take something special and that is exactly what happened
  • With a perfectly weighted pass stroked to Radja Nainggolan he found himself with plenty of space but was still a good 25-30 yards out
  • But with a foot like a traction engine he gave it his full force as an unstoppable shot fizzed past the helpless Wayne Hennessy and Belgium were ahead
  • For the first time in the evening the Wales fans had gone quiet
  • But it was only a momentary lapse of sound
  • The key was to make sure this Wales side didn’t let the heads dropped and they certainly did not
  • Soon after Neil Taylor found himself unmarked in the box and from 6 yards out looked to have restored parity
  • But for Courtois making a world class save then it would have been 1-1
  • Anywhere else in the goal and Wales are back in the game but Taylor had the misfortune of firing straight at the goalkeeper and Belgium stayed in front
  • But that lead wasn’t to last long as Ashley Williams powered a header in from a corner to level the scores
  • It was great off the ball movement which dragged out two Belgium defenders to leave Williams unmarked and his low header was thumped into the Belgian net
  • Game very much on
  • The scores were level at half time with the game very much in the balance
  • But the scales would be tipped in Wales’ favour just 10 minutes after the restart
  • Hal Robson-Kanu may be without a club at the moment but that certainly won’t be the case once this tournament ends
  • After receiving the ball with his back to goal in the 6 yard box he then pulled off a stupendous Cruyff turn which sold a trio of Belgian defenders and then prodded home to give Wales the lead
  • Wild scenes from both fans and players but they still had a job to do
  • Romelu Lukaku was threatening but never quite delivering
  • He had strong grounds for a penalty after being brought down but the Referee was having none of it
  • Although it begged the question if Lukaku was in such a good position then why would he himself go to ground
  • Perhaps a let off for Wales
  • But still Belgium came in search of an equaliser
  • Everything they threw at Wales though was withheld and frustrations started to mount for Marc Wilmots’ side
  • Hero Hal Robson-Kanu was subbed off with 10 minutes to go for Sam Vokes in a bid to get some fresh legs on the pitch after a tireless stint from the former Reading forward
  • If Chris Coleman’s plan was to just to try and contain Belgium in the last 10 minutes then that would go out the window just five minutes later
  • Sam Vokes timed his run across the six yard box perfectly and he met the right hand cross with enough pace to power his header in the top corner of Courtois’ net and give Wales an unbelievable 3-1 lead
  • Only you had to believe it because it really was happening
  • Even though there were five minutes left to play, Belgium were spent
  • That is was it, it was game over
  • Now Wales just had to wait for the final whistle for the celebrations to begin
  • The longest few minutes in Welsh football history were finally over and the sea of red in the crowd erupted
  • Wales were a team of heroes last night and they imperious in their performance
  • A win they nothing short of deserved
  • It now sets up Gareth Bale vs Cristiano Ronaldo in a battle of the galacticos in the first Semi Final
  • But this win does come at a price. Chris Coleman will have to make do without Ben Davies and Aaron Ramsey through suspension
  • Those two will have to hope that their teammates can get them to the final next Sunday
  • There may have been celebrations last night but now the planning for Portugal starts
  • They may be heroes but they could be immortal if they go all the way and win Euro 2016
If you are looking for content creators for your website and/or media outlet, then please drop me an email at realfootballmanwordpress@gmail.com and I'd be happy to discuss what opportunities you have. Thanks, Dan

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