Football

Wales beat Belgium in Euro 2016 qualifier

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Wales moved one step closer to qualifying for the European Championships in France next year.

They held on for a 1-0 win against a Belgium side who are currently ranked second in the FIFA World Rankings, behind only to world champions Germany.

The Belgians' star-studded XI - which included the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois - struggled to breakdown Chris Coleman’s side.

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The only goal of the game came on 25 minutes when Aaron Ramsey’s half-cleared free-kick was headed into the path of Gareth Bale by Radja Nainggolan.

Bale coolly slotted the ball past a helpless Thibaut Courtois to mark his 50th Wales cap in style.

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Wales on course to qualify for Euro 2016

Wales fans started celebrating wildly and should have seen their country take a 2-0 lead had Hal Robson-Kanu’s shot not fizzled wide from a blocked Aaron Ramsey effort.

Belgium boss Marc Wilmot’s decided to add more physical presence to his team after half-time, sending on Everton striker Romelu Lukaku.

Belgium bossed the second half as they did the first and should have equalised through De Bruyne’s shot which went narrowly wide of the post.

Hazard and Benteke also saw their efforts blocked by Welsh defenders who would have thrown themselves in front of a bus to deny a goal.

Wales grew tired as the game went on but held on for three crucial points.

The win now sees them three points in front of second placed Belgium and an impressive 5 ahead of third placed Israel.

The nation is edging ever closer to reaching their first major tournament since 1958.

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Topics:
Football
Wales
Internationals
Gareth Bale

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