Football Focus Issue 65 - Page 16

Wales FOLLOW US ONLINE TWITTER.COM/FOOTYFOCUSMAG Wales W hile England suffered embarrassment at this year’s European Championships, Wales enjoyed one of the finest moments in their footballing history as they came from a goal down to defeat a fancied Belgian side 3-2 to reach the semi-final of the competition. Although they weren the beaten 2-0 by eventual winners Portugal in the semifinal it was a tournament to remember with additional victories over Northern Ireland, Russia and Slovakia highlighting the progress that has been made under Manager Chris Coleman. The Belgium victory was the culmination of his and his teams efforts as they fought back from an early Radja Nainggolan strike to level through Ashley Williams. Hal Robson-Kanu then gave them the lead, turning brilliantly away from two defenders before keeping his cool to slot past the keeper. Belgium fought to get back into the game but the spirit that epitomised the Welsh campaign was evident as they held firm before Sam Vokes made the game safe late on. Speaking after the match, Coleman commented, “I said before we kicked the ball today, we are not here to enjoy it, we are here to compete. “We defended like soldiers. All I can do is reiterate to the players never to forget what it took to get here. I know my team are good enough to perform against anybody.” Coleman’s comments serve to highlight the belief that he instilled into his side, successfully moulding a team with stars such as Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey into an effective unit. The job he has done at Wales is undoubtedly the highlight of Coleman’s “Wales performances at the European Championships were terrific, highlighting what a team playing with passion and pride can achieve. Having kicked off their World Cup Qualifying campaign with a convincing 4-0 victory there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Coleman and his side are not done yet.” 16 Issue 65