A 2-1 victory against Slovakia, a gut-wrenching 2-1 defeat to England and a 3-0 victory against Russia has seen Wales qualify to the Euro 2016 knock-out stages. They make it through for only the second time in their history. Wales finish the group stage atop of Group B.
Wales qualify for Euro 2016 Last 16
A positive first half performance from Wales started vibrantly. Several early chances were spurned by Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev. Wales made the breakthrough on 11 minutes after a perfectly-weighted pass from midfield-maestro Joe Allen found it’s way to Aaron Ramsey. Ramsey chipped the ball beautifully over the on-coming Akinfeev.
There was plenty of space to be had in midfield. Wales made the better use of it, countering spurned Russian attacks time after time.
The second goal came through another Welsh counter-attack as Neil Taylor found himself one-on-one with Akinfeev but saw his shot bounce off the keeper, before tapping in from close range on 20 minutes.
The atmosphere in the Stadium Municipal of Toulouse was vibrant as the Welsh fans sang loudly and proudly. The National Anthem rang around the ground as Wales approached half-time.
Aaron Ramsey, Gareth Bale and Sam Vokes all had guilt-edged one-on-one chances that were spurned.
Russia did have a chance to pull one back just before stoppage time as Fyoor Smolov fired from the right-hand side of the box only for Wayne Hennessy to parry before collecting.
The second half started just as brilliantly as the first for Wales, with Gareth Bale almost lifting the ball over the keeper on 55 minutes only to see the ball bobble out for a corner.
Wales continued to counter as Russian attacks broke down. Aaron Ramsey then set Gareth Bale up by slipping through a neat ball inside the left back with the Russian defenders waiting for an off-side decision against Sam Vokes. Bale, with the outside of his left foot tapped the ball past the keeper to make it 3-0 Wales.
Dreamland on 67 minutes for the Welsh faithful as the sea of read roared with song once again.
At this point, Chris Coleman made a couple of substitutions to freshen up the Wales line-up. David Edwards replaced Joe Allen. Meanwhile, Premier League winner, Andy King replaced Joe Ledley in midfield. Shortly thereafter, Simon Church replaced the talisman Gareth Bale on 83 minutes.
On who Wales will play, WalesOnline have worked out:
Facing the third-place side from either Group A (Albania), C (Poland, Northern Ireland, Ukraine or Germany) or D (Croatia, Czech Republic or Turkey) at the Parc des Princes would be a very nice way to start the knockout stages of the tournament for the Welsh.
Home to Paris Saint-Germain, the stadium is located in the south-west of the French capital. It has a UEFA capacity of 45,000 and was the venue for the 1960 and 1984 European Championship finals.
The stadium has already played host to Croatia’s 1-0 victory over Turkey; as well as the 1-1 draw between Romania and Switzerland. There are another two group stage matches scheduled to be played there, as well.