Lille, France: Hal Robson-Kanu scored a sensational goal as Wales came from behind to stun Belgium 3-1 in Friday´s Euro 2016 quarter-final in Lille and reach their first major tournament semi-final.
Radja Nainggolan gave Belgium a 13th-minute lead, but Ashley Williams equalised before a dazzling strike from Robson-Kanu, whose contract with English second-tier club Reading expired on Thursday, and a late header by substitute Sam Vokes earned Wales a historic victory.
Wales talisman Gareth Bale will now go head-to-head with his Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo when the tournament´s last British representatives face Portugal in Lyon on Wednesday.
“Dreams, don´t be afraid about dreams, because four years ago I was as far away from this as you can imagine and look what has happened,” said Wales manager Chris Coleman, who succeeded his late friend Gary Speed as manager in 2012.
“If you work hard enough and you are not afraid to dream and not afraid to fail, this happens. It´s sweet and I´m enjoying it.”
In beating Belgium, who they also defeated in qualifying, Coleman´s men surpassed the Wales greats of 1958, whose quarter-final showing at that year´s World Cup in Sweden had been the country´s best previous achievement.
But they will have to do without both Ben Davies and Aaron Ramsey, who set up two of the Wales goals, after they received bookings that ruled them out of the semi-final.
Belgium coach Marc Wilmots will face difficult questions about his failure to achieve more with one of his nation´s finest collections of footballers, who also fell in the last eight at the 2014 World Cup.
He was missing three of his four first-choice defenders — Vincent Kompany and Jan Vertonghen through injury, Thomas Vermaelen through suspension — but with no other previous tournament-winners in this half of the draw, defeat represented a massive missed opportunity.
Heavy pre-match downpours in Lille heightened fears about the pitch, which was relaid just a week ago, but the slick playing surface held firm and provided the platform for an electrifying game.
Courtesy : TheNews