Down
enlarge shrink
Wales, Portugal advance to Euro semifinals
0:58 | Planet Futbol
Wales, Portugal advance to Euro semifinals
SI Staff
Friday July 1st, 2016

Wales is onto its first semifinal at a major tournament ever after coming back from an early deficit to defeat Belgium 3-1 in Lille on Friday in the Euro 2016 quarterfinals. 

Radja Nainggolan's rocket put Belgium up 13 minutes in, but Ashley Williams, Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes all scored for the Dragons, who will play Portugal for the right to reach the Euro 2016 final after eliminating the highest-ranked team in the field.

Belgium started out on the front foot but was denied on three successive chances. First Yannick Carrasco was saved by Wayne Hennessey, Thomas Meunier had the rebound saved off the line by Ben Davies and Hazard had his follow-up deflected over the bar as well. Romelu Lukaku then missed a great opportunity at the back post on the ensuing corner kick.

There was nothing Wales could do to prevent Radja Nainggolan from opening the scoring, though. His right-footed rip from about 30 yards out left Hennessey no chance, and it put Belgium up 1-0 13 minutes in:

Wales missed its chance to equalize in the 26th minute, when Neil Taylor had a close range-look at a seemingly open net denied by Thibaut Courtois. The sequence was started when Nainggolan was tripped up and lost possession–no foul was called–and Ramsey crossed for Taylor at the center of the box. Courtois recovered in time, diving to his left to prevent the goal:

Wales found its equalizer soon after, though. Captain Ashley Williams, who appeared to hurt his arm in the end of Wales's win over Northern Ireland, headed home a Ramsey corner kick after running through the box essentially unmarked in the 30th minute. De Bruyne was on the post, but he couldn't come up with the block:

Williams could've had a second in the 43rd minute, as he was left open on a second straight corner, but he put his header over the bar:

Belgium came out on fire in the second half, with Lukaku, De Bruyne and Hazard each having quality chances just miss. Lukaku had this wide-open header glance wide of the post after he was set up by Thomas Meunier:

Hal Robson-Kanu, who has no club, gave Wales its first lead with an incredible piece of skill, taking a pass from Aaron Ramsey, splitting Meunier and halftime sub Marouane Fellaini with a spin move and then beating Courtois for his second goal of the competition:

The goal, naturally, made Welsh fans watching in Cardiff go absolutely crazy:

Sam Vokes put the icing on the result with a header from six yards out, redirecting Chris Gunter's cross from the right to make it 3-1:

It's not all good news for Wales, as Ramsey and Ben Davies each picked up their second yellow cards of the competition, meaning they're suspended for the semifinal.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.