Wales vs Belgium: Euro 2016 quarter-final result and report
Hal Robson-Kanu hit a magical second as history-makers Wales came from behind to book a Euro 2016 last-four clash with Portugal.
Wales made it through to the semi-finals of a major tournament for the first time in their history in a memorable Euro 2016 quarter-final with Belgium on Friday night.
A highly entertaining encounter in Lille saw Chris Coleman's men produce an excellent performance to recover from the concession of a spectacular Radja Nainggolan goal and see off the much-fancied Belgians.
Ashley Williams' header brought the Red Dragons level before half time, and Hal Robson-Kanu then conjured up a magical turn and finish to put his side in front after the break.
Belgium pressed for an equaliser, but when substitute Sam Vokes glanced Chris Gunter's right-wing cross into the far corner late on, the Welsh celebrations were well and truly underway.
Wales will meet Portugal in the last four in Lyon on Wednesday.
Here's how a historic night unfolded at Stade Pierre Mauroy:
Peeep! It's all over! Wales are into the semi-finals! What a display from Chris Coleman's men! Ashley Williams is in tears. What can you say about this Welsh team? Belgium started the stronger in both halves, but on each occasion Wales came back at their star-studded opponents, producing a sensational performance and hitting three goals - the pick of which was Robson-Kanu's sumptuous Cruyff turn and finish for the Red Dragons' crucial second. They will face Portugal in the semi-finals on Wednesday. History is made as Wales book their spot in the last four of a major tournament for the first time ever. Bale vs Ronaldo: it is on. The only blackspot on the night is that yellow card for Ramsey, which means he misses the clash in Lyon through suspension. What a night - thanks for reading.
92' | Belgium launch it into the box, but Hennessey comes and claims to huge roars from the Welsh fans. Hazard then shoots, but it's off target. Again to huge roars. Batshuayi is then almost in, but an outstretched leg from a red shirt directs it safely to Hennessey.
88' | Belgium win a couple of corners but there's no way through and Wales are on the verge of the last four. Ramsey is brought off - he's clearly gutted he's going to be out of the Portugal game - and James Collins is on.
86' | Gooooal! 3-1 to Wales! They're heading into their first ever major semi-final! Belglum have been all-out attack, but the Welsh finally get out of their half as the ball comes to Gunter on the right, his cross finding Vokes - and the Burnley striker's header at the near post is across Courtois and into the far corner! Well, I never!
85' | Alderweireld is booked for a foul on Ramsey. Five minutes for Wales to hold on...
81' | Nainggolan tangles with Williams and flops to the turf screaming for a penalty, but again the man in the middle is unmoved. Replays suggest it should have been a spot-kick. Belgium make a third and final change, with striking starlet Michi Batshuayi on for Romelu Lukaku.
80' | Romelu Lukaku is claiming a free-kick for a foul by Davies but is getting nothing, before feeding Witsel in a promising shooting position, but his shot is over and won't be troubling Hennessey. Sam Vokes comes on for goal-hero Robson-Kanu.
77' | Belgium are knocking on the door here - first Davies nicks the ball off Fellaini's head before the former Everton big man heads Meunier's cross down towards the far post, where Axel Witsel can't quite reach it on the stretch. Winger Dries Mertens has come on for Jordan Lukaku as Marc Wilmots searches for a leveller, while Andy King is on in place of Joe Ledley.
75' | Ramsey is pulling his shirt over his head in frustration, and well he might: the Arenal midfielder earns himself a yellow for handball and will miss the semi agains Portugal if Wales get there.
74' | Fellaini is inches from making to 2-2. De Bruyne crosses from the right byline and the Manchester United man is arriving it pace... but his header back across Hennessey is juuuust wide. A big let-off for the Welsh.
71' | Belgium carve Wales open for a moment as Nainggolan plays in De Bruyne charging into the box, but with Lukaku waiting his low cross is cleared by the well-positioned Chester.
68' | Belgium get their foot on it as they look to build an attack to get themselves on level terms, but a mis-placed pass means it's Wales' ball. Moments later, Jordan Lukaku has a chance to cross from the left but it's well over-hit.
66' | Ufff! Wales win a corner, then another, and the second sees Jordan Lukaku mis-hit his clearance before it falls to Williams on the volley, but he pings his fiercely-struck atttempt over.
64' | Williams brings down Nainggolan outside of the area and De Bruyne is standing over the free-kick. He sends a bouncing effort towards goal but Hennessey gets his body behind it and brings it into his clutches.
61' | Wales win a corner that Ramsey swings over, and the ball drops to Williams, who for a moment looks like he's all set to steer it in - but Courtois smothers it. Oh lordy lordy. If England had half the spirit and backbone this Wales side have, they might actually do something at a tournament again.
60' | Fellaini gets himself a yellow card for a foul on Bale, and he'll miss the semi-final if Belgium manage to get there.
58' | I'm still too busy rewatching that goal.
55' | Gooooal to Wales! It may have been all Belgium, but Chris Coleman's men are ahead! Ramsey controls a long ball on the right-hand edge of the box and crosses towards Robson-Kanu, who pulls it down on the penalty spot and takes out three defenders with a Cruyff turn before coolly slotting past Courtois with his left. Bergkamp-esque. 2-1 Wales.
53' | Meunier again seeks out Lukaku, this time with his left, but Williams is there at the back post to nick it off the striker's head. It's been all Belgium so far in this second period.
50' | Belgium have come out with the bit between their teeth after finding themselves on the end of a Welsh resurgence in the first half. First De Bruyne drives just over from the edge of the box, before Hazard cuts in from the left and looks to find the far corner, but aims his shot just wide.
48' | Romelu Lukaku should score. Fellaini slips the ball to Meunier in space to cross on the right, and his ball is popped right onto the Everton striker's head in front of goal, but his effort is angled past the far post. Anything on target and it was surely a goal.
Peep peepity peep! We're back underway at Stade Pierre Mauroy, where Marouane Fellaini has come on for Yannick Carrasco for Belgium.
Peep! That's half time in Lille after what has been a thoroughly entertaining opening 45. Belgium started well on top and surprised no-one when they took the lead through Nainggolan's utter pearler, but Wales came right back at Marc Wilmots' side as the period progressed and fully deserve to be level at the break thanks to Williams' pinpoint header. More of the same in the second half, please!
45' | That's poor from Meunier. Belgium work it to the right-back, racing forward in support on the right, but his delivery is long. Wales then create an opportunity to grab a half-time lead as Ramsey brings it forward and flights a searching cross to Robson-Kanu arriving in the box. He leaps highest, but his far-post header is gathered by Courtois.
42' | Uffff! Williams again! Ramsey's corner finds the bonce of the Swansea City defender, but this time it flies over. De Bruyne then slaps a shot over for Belgium.
41' | The Welsh fans are in fine voice, and well they might be. Their boys are doing them proud again, and are looking for a second. Bale feeds Ramsey, who has room to get it out of his feet and shoot from just outside of the box, his effort deflecting off Jordan Lukaku for a corner.
40' | Belgium sprint up the other end and earn a corner of their own, which Davies clears as far as Nainggolan, whose volleyed cross back in his tamely headed into Hennessey's hands by Toby Alderweireld.
39' | This is really enjoyable stuff. Wales win another corner, which is swung to the back post by Ramsey and finds the head of Chester - but he can't direct it goalwards.
34' | Now Bale races up the other end and looks to fire it in across Courtois with his right on the run, but the Chelsea keeper gathers.
33' | Belgium come back at Wales as Nainggolan has a yard of space to shoot but finds himself closed down, before Hennessey has to get a hand to Carrasco's right-wing cross to stop Romelu Lukaku from getting on the end of it.
30' | Gooooal! Ramsey feeds Robson-Kanu, who does well to win a corner off Jordan Lukaku. One corner becomes two...and Wales equalise! It's the captain Ashley Williams, who has all the space in the world to head Ramsey's delivery down and into the corner past Courtois!
26' | Chance for Wales! Ramsey gets to the right byline and pulls it back to the penalty spot, where the arriving Taylor fires first-time towards goal...but Thibaut Courtois saves! Should have been 1-1!
24' | Now Gunter picks up a yellow as he tugs De Bruyne down to prevent the Man City player from launching the counter. Just prior to that, Ramsey had made himself a yard or two of space in the area but saw his shot blocked. Wales are seeing more of the ball but are so far are in need of a mite more cutting edge.
20' | Bale is at the heart of it as Wales enjoy their most prolonged spell of possession so far, before the Real Madrid man's pass is slack and Belgium clear. Wales come again, but Chris Gunter is flagged offside and it's the Red Devils' ball.
18' | Jordan Lukaku gets into a good crossing position on the left for Belgium, but Wales deal with his low cross.
16' | James Chester joins Davies in the book after hauling down Romelu Lukaku. It's all action in Lille, and my fingers are struggling to keep up with this.
15' | Bale sends it into the Belgium box in search of Robson-Kanu - it's close, but to no avail.
13' | Goooooal to Belgium! And it's a wonderful strike! The ball is laid back to Radja Nainggolan - who has shown already at this tournament that he can't half hit them - and the Roma man thumps it into the near top corner from 25 yards! Bosh. 1-0 to the Belgians.
10' | Gareth Bale pops up for the first time, running at the Belgians on the left and pinging a near-post effort into the side-netting. It's been fun so far in Lille.
9' | First moment of note for Wales as Robson-Kanu heads relatively tamely over at the back post.
6' | Oh. My. Word. How did that stay out? Belgium race forward again and Romelu Lukaku crosses to the back post, where Yannick Carrasco is in acres of space but sees his shot parried by Wayne Hennessey, with the loose ball falling to Thomas Meunier, whose follow-up is blocked by a red shirt on the line. That rebounding ball also runs to a Belgian as Eden Hazard steams on to it, but it's deflected over from underneath the posts.
5' | Belgium have settled much the quicker of the two, and as the Red Devils come forward again Ben Davies brings down Kevin De Bruyne - and sees the game's first yellow. If the Welsh go through to the semi-finals, he'll miss that clash.
2' | Belgium start on the front foot, swinging (I make it) four crosses into the Welsh box all to no final effect. The atmosphere in the Stade Pierre Mauroy sounds fantastic.
Peeep! And they're off! Will Wales get to a first ever major tournament semi-final, or will Belgium make it to a last four for the first time since the 1986 World Cup?
2 minutes to kick-off | I may be biased, but I reckon Wales won that one with something to spare.
4 minutes to kick-off | The main event: anthem-off. It's tipping it down in Lille.
5 minutes to kick-off | The teams are in the tunnel, Belgium in their slightly questionable sky blue away strip and Wales looking resplendent in their black anthem jackets (formerly known as tracky tops).
The teams are out!
Wales XI: Hennessey, Gunter, Chester, Williams, Davies, Taylor, Allen, Ledley, Bale, Ramsey, Robson-Kanu
Belgium XI: Courtois, Meunier, Alderweireld, Denayer, J. Lukaku, Witsel, Nainggolan, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Hazard, R. Lukaku
Wales vs Belgium Match Preview
Two teams who have looked particularly impressive at Euro 2016, Wales as the tournaments dark horses finished the group stage top of their section ahead of England – not bad at all for their first appearance in the competition. Chris Coleman’s side lost just once – a 2-1 defeat to England in their second outing. They also boast the tournament’s joint top scorer in Gareth Bale who has found the net three times, like Antoine Griezmann and Álvaro Morata.
Belgium have looked like serious contenders to go all the way and ended the group stage behind Italy on goal difference. De Bruyne, Mertens, Lukaku and Hazard have been in fine form throughout the competition – and the Belgians showed they mean business in the 4-0 demolition of Hungary in the Last 16.
Wales and Belgium met earlier in the competition with both qualifying from Group C. The two teams played out a goalless draw in MatchDay 4 but Wales made their home advantage count when they met in Cardiff on MatchDay 6 – Bale scoring the only goal of the game on 25 minutes.
Chris Coleman has all of his squad fit and available and is expected to stick with the unorthodox 3-2-3-2 formation he employed in the last game against Northern Ireland. The only doubts are who will accompany Gareth Bale in attack – Aaron Ramsey should keep his place, but there are question marks over whether Sam Vokes will join him.
Marc Wilmots has two players who will sit out tonight’s game: Thomas Vermaelen is serving a one-match ban for accumulation of bookings and should be replaced by Montreal full-back Ciman; Jan Verthongen is out injured with an ankle ligament problem and sadly looks like he'll miss the rest of the tournament which could open the door to Michy Batshuayi. Belgium have played a highly effective 4-3-3 with De Bruyne playing just behind attacking trio Mertens, Lukaku and Hazard – a combination which has yielded eight goals in the four matches played so far. At the back, Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois has only been beaten twice.
Heavy rain has been forecast in Lille tonight which means the stadium's retractable roof could be used to keep both teams dry.
The winner of this match will face Portugal, who won their tie against Poland in the penalty shoot-out, in the semi-finals on Wednesday 6 July (21:00 CEST).
Wales vs Belgium Live
Recommended in English
- TENNIS Osaka gives up AO crown: 'This is the biggest step, even though I lost'
- ALFREDO RELAÑO Nothing quite beats single leg cup football
- NFL NFL playoffs: Rams must score big to beat Brady and Bucs, says Stafford
- PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel: a year on
- QATAR 2022 World Cup Qatar 2022, African Qualifiers play-off draw: how and where to watch, times, TV, online