Wales upset Belgium to enter Euro semis.
Wales have advanced to the semifinals of a major football tournament for the first time with a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over Belgium, which paid dearly for its careless play on defence in an Euro 2016 quarter-final here.
Lille (IANS): Wales have advanced to the semifinals of a major football tournament for the first time with a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over Belgium, which paid dearly for its careless play on defence in an Euro 2016 quarter-final here.
The Belgians on Friday night grabbed the early lead with a long-distance strike off the foot of midfielder Radja Nainggolan in the 12th minute. But Belgium's porous defence allowed Wales captain Ashley Williams to score the equaliser at the half-hour mark.
Wales then took the lead 10 minutes into the second half on a goal by Hal Robson-Kanu before Sam Vokes put the icing on the British squad's victory -- its biggest in nearly 60 years -- shortly before the end of regulation.
The contest at the Pierre-Mauroy Stadium featured two of soccer's biggest stars in Belgium's Eden Hazard and Welshman Gareth Bale, but the Chelsea attacking midfielder was hampered by a leg injury and largely invisible while the Real Madrid winger also failed to make a big impact.
Wales made one change from the team that defeated Northern Ireland 1-0 in Round of 16, with Robson-Kanu being brought into the front two alongside Bale. Sam Vokes dropped to the bench as a result. James Chester, Ashley and Ben Davies made up the customary back three, with Joe Ledley once again in the engine room.
Belgium saw Jordan Lukaku starting at left back, with chief coach Marc Wilmots having no option but to also name young Jason Denayer alongside Toby Alderweireld in defence. Thomas Vermaelen was out through suspension, while Jan Vertonghen missed out due to an ankle injury in training.
Yannick Carrasco came in on the right, with Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard in support of lone striker Romelu Lukaku.
Belgium nearly kicked off the scoring in the sixth minute, when Romelu, Thomas Meunier and Hazard all squandered chances at point-blank range.