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A Look at Wales’ Unexpected Euro Success

July 01, 2016

- Grant Whittington

While it may be 58 years since Wales last appeared at a major tournament, their performances in France suggest that they have never been away from Europe’s top table. Having topped their group ahead of home nation rivals England, Wales will take on Northern Ireland in the second round with a genuine chance of advancing to the quarter-finals. Given the draw that surrounds them, they may even have the chance to go further in what is becoming a stunning and surprising adventure.

A Look at Wales’ Euros So Far

The template for Wales’ success was set in the first 10 minutes of their opening game against Slovakia, when Chris Coleman’s side played with great intensity and star forward Gareth Bale scored from a stunning free-kick. The Welsh displayed great tenacity during the course of their 2-1, setting the scene for a classic home nation clash with England.

Wales showcased the same qualities against the Three Lions, although they were unable to withstand immense pressure following Gareth Bale’s first-half strike and ultimately succumbed to a late, 2-1 defeat.

The seminal moment for Wales came against Russia, however, where the Dragons produced their best performance for an entire generation. Despite the admittedly poor levels of resistance displayed by the Russians, Wales were irresistible with Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen and Gareth Bale in sparkling form. Combined with intense pressing and tremendous pace, Wales recorded a superb 3-0 victory that sealed qualification and top spot in the group.

Against Northern Ireland they came out second best on the pitch, but on the scoresheet it was a different story. Once again that “togetherness” prevailed and they sealed a tie with Belgium in the Quarter Final.

What Next For Wales & how Far Can They Go?

The Dragons have had plenty of success against Belgium in recent years, but the Red Devils could be too much for them when it comes to knockout competition.

Marc Wilmots’ side are desperate to lift a major trophy having been labelled as underdogs themselves for so long. With De Bruyne, Hazard, Lukaku, and Courtois in their side, they’re one of the favourites.

Wales will fancy themselves though, particularly with the likes of Bale and Ramsey in fine form. A win against Belgium will set them up for a tie with Poland or Portugal, and who knows what’s possible?

Either way the Welsh side can hold their head high and return to the country as heroes. It’s been a phenomenal tournament for them, and we are under the impression this is only the beginning.

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