FT: Wales 1-0 Belgium

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 2:13

FT: Wales 1-0 Belgium

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: There’s the final whistle and Wales have won! An historic night for Welsh football and Euro 2016 is within touching distance for Chris Coleman’s men. Gareth Bale scored the only goal in the first half and Wales defended superbly from there on in. Belgium struggled to create any clear cut chances and Wales deserves the three points. The players can go off on holiday delighted by a job well done.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Andy King comes on for Hal Robson-Kanu.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Another ball pumped into the box and Benteke can’t get enough on it. A minute left for Wales to hang on.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Ramsey gives it away to Hazard and he drives forward. Belgium corner and Wales clear.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Hazard shifts it to Vertonghen and his shot is deflected out for a corner. It comes in, Hennessey catches it and the crowd roars! Three minutes added time to play.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Nainggolan plays it in to Witsel and Williams comes through the back of him. Free-kick to Belgium. Dead centre, 25 yards out.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Hanging ball into the box and just over the head of Benteke allowing Williams to power it clear. The slightest of touches by the Villa striker and Wales could have been in trouble.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Gareth Bale is down and it looks like cramp but that is it for him tonight. He’s replaced by Sam Vokes.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Hazard goes down under challenge from Joe Allen and the Belgium players surround the referee asking for a second yellow card. He won’t be influenced though, just a free-kick and replays show even that was generous.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Great ball in from Hazard, Gunter in the right place to head clear.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Robson-Kanu shoves Hazard to the ground down the Belgium left. Free-kick taken quickly and the ball is out for a corner. Another great ball in, Benteke gets the slightest touch and Vertonghen cannot quite get to it at the far post.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Hennessey catches Denayer’s deflected ball into the box and it is a party atmosphere among the Wales supporters as we approach the last 10 minutes.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Toby Alderweireld goes off to be replaced by Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: The referee has a word with Christian Benteke as he catches Chris Gunter as the defender headed clear.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: The switch to two up front has not really worked for Belgium. Lukaku has barely touched the ball and Benteke has been quiet all night.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Ramsey stays down after being caught by Nainggolan, he’s up again after whittling away a few more seconds.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Benteke is late on Aaron Ramsey and Wales have a free-kick on the halfway line as the Wales national anthem rings out around the Cardiff City Stadium.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Not much going on for the last few minutes and that will suit Wales. They have managed to take the sting out of the game and slow things down.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Wales are defending very well in this second half. Belgium have had 16 shots to their six but the Wales lead the shots on target by two to one.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Another corner and Alderweirled heads over unmarked at the near post. The ball was slightly behind him otherwise that might have been 1-1.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: The corner is only half cleared and the ball drops to Vertonghen who’s snap-shot is blocked by Ledley.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Alderweireld clips a ball to the back post from the byline, Hazard heads it towards goal but it is deflected over by Gunter.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Bale stands up Lombaerts one-on-one on the right wing. The ball goes one way, Bale the other and Lombaerts has little choice but to bring him down. Yellow card for the centre-back.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Bale sends Ramsey away down the left, Nainggolan forces him back before Allen drives forward and plays ball through to Bale. Lombaerts comes across to deal with him though.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Lovely move by Belgium. Hazard plays a one-two with Benteke before cutting it back towards Lukaku. Chester intervenes though. It looks like Hazard may have been fouled as he played the ball back across goal – a stroke of luck for Wales.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Lots of possession but no chances for Belgium. The ball finally comes out to Alderweireld who lashes a shot wildly wide of the post.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Down the other end and Richards crosses from the right. Robson-Kanu meets it with his head, just wide.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Close again for Belgium, De Bruyne finds space on the edge of the box and fires just wide with his left-foot. Hennessey didn’t move.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Another corner as De Bruyne crosses, Lukaku swings a leg at it, misses and the ball goes out off Gunter. The initial cross is dealt with but Nainggolan follows it up by whipping in a fantastic low cross. Somehow it evades everybody and Wales survive with a goal kick.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: A corner at the start of the second half for Belgium. Benteke arriving at the far post but Ashley Williams does just enough to put up the No 9 and he volleys over.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Wales get us back under way.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: A change for Belgium ahead of the second half. Dries Mertens is off and Romelu Lukaku comes on. It looks like two up top for the visitors now.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: That’s it for the first half and a huge cheer from the home crowd as the whistle goes. Gareth Bale scored the only goal of the first 45 minutes, finishing nicely after an error from the otherwise excellent Nainggolan. It had been all Belgium up to that point but Chris Coleman and his team won’t care, they lead at the break.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: A very hopeful effort from Dries Mertens, shooting high over the bar with a half-volley from 35 yards.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: The goal has really settled Wales down as you might expect but Belgium have put together a good spell of possession in the last few minutes. Wales defending well as it stands though.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Bale beats a man and sets Wales away again. Richards hangs a cross up to the far post and Robson-Kanu heads over under pressure from Toby Alderweireld.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Neil Taylor does well to hold off Kevin De Bruyne and win a free-kick as the Wolfsburg midfielder tried to burst past him.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Great chance for Wales and it should be 2-0. A lovely move involved Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey ends with the latter seeing his shot saved by Courtois, it comes out to Robson-Kanu though and the striker snatches at the shot, firing wide with the goal gaping.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: The free-kick is teed up for Vertonghen and his powerful shot is deflected, inches away from Benteke’s outstretched foot and out for a corner.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM: Chance for Belgium to hit back as
Joe Allen brings down Hazard on the edge of the Wales box. The Liverpool midfielder is booked and will miss the next game.

WALES 1-0 BELGIUM:
GOAL! Gareth Bale puts Wales in front! Ramsey free-kick is cleared but the so far immaculate Nainggolan inexplicably heads the ball back towards his own goal from the edge of the box. Bale is waiting, takes a touch before calmly slotting home with his right foot.

WALES 0-0 BELGIUM: Free-kick wide on the left for Wales as Robson-Kanu draws a foul from Denayer near the corner.

WALES 0-0 BELGIUM: Lombaerts does Courtois no favours with a bouncing back pass and the keeper slices it out for a throw under pressure from Robson-Kanu.

WALES 0-0 BELGIUM: Wales may a rare foray in Belgium territory but Taylor’s cross lacks pace and it too close to Courtois and the Chelsea keeper claims it.

WALES 0-0 BELGIUM: The away fans are in fine voice, jumping up and down in unison. No doubt buoyed by the start their team have made.

WALES 0-0 BELGIUM: Good play from Ashley Williams sets Wales away through Gareth Bale. The Real Madrid winger tries to burst past Denayer but the centre-back blocks his path.

WALES 0-0 BELGIUM: Relief for Wales as De Bruyne clips a pass over the top of the defence but there is no one there and it runs through to Hennessey.

WALES 0-0 BELGIUM: More good play from Belgium and Hazard lashes over from 15 yards out. Wales are struggling to get a foothold in this game.

WALES 0-0 BELGIUM: The visitors dominating the ball, the latest statistics showing them as having had 67% of it so far.

WALES 0-0 BELGIUM: Nainggolan dictating the ball form the centre of midfield for Belgium. The Roma man starts and finishes their latest attack, his shot well saved by Hennessey low down to his left.

WALES 0-0 BELGIUM: Mertens again delivers from the right, Hennessey catches but almost loses it after colliding with Benteke. He just about clings on.

WALES 0-0 BELGIUM: First corner of the game goes to Wales after Bale plays the ball off Vertonghen. Ramsey’s delivery is met by Robson-Kanu but his header drifts wide.

WALES 0-0 BELGIUM: Belgium confident and composed in possession early on and Mertens wrong foots Taylor and puts a decent ball into the box. Just too much on it for Benteke though and it’s out for a goal kick.

WALES 0-0 BELGIUM: Gareth Bale, on his 50th appearance for his country, shows he skill early on as he beats Kevin De Bruyne with ease before Eden Hazard stops him on the halfway line.

WALES 0-0 BELGIUM: Belgium, all in black, kick us off and away we go…

Rather bizarrely some of the Wales fans seem to be booing the Belgian national anthem. That is followed by a rousing rendition of the Welsh anthem, the Cardiff City Stadium is full to bursting and we are ready to go.

The players emerge from the tunnel and kick-off is just moments away. First though, the anthems…

Wales are 15/4 underdogs with Sky Bet to upset odds-on shots Belgium in the Group B clash at the Cardiff City Stadium. Both sides remain unbeaten in their bid for next year’s finals and shared a goalless draw in the corresponding fixture back in November. Wales stunned Israel in their last match in Haifa in March, winning 3-0, and are 7/1 to win to nil on Friday night with Belgium, who currently lead the table on goal difference, 5/2 to win by exactly one goal. Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke is 9/2 to break the deadlock for the visitors with Gareth Bale a 6/1 shot for Wales. Sky Bet are offering a special treble of Benteke, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard all to score at odds of 33/1.

As for Belgium, a trio of Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens and Eden Hazard behind Christian Benteke should certainly keep those Wales defenders busy. However, with Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey in the side, Chris Coleman’s men can certainly pose a threat themselves.

It looks like a three at the back for Wales tonight as Jazz Richards and James Chester come in for Ben Davies and James Collins. Otherwise the team team is unchanged from the victory over Israel in their previous qualifier.

Belgium: Courtois, Alderweireld, Denayer, Lombaerts, Vertonghen, Nainggolan, Witsel, De Bruyne, Mertens, Hazard, Benteke.
Subs: Mignolet, Gillet, Tielemans, Mirallas, Deschacht, Ferreira-Carrasco, Origi, Dembele, Lukaku, Vanden Borre, Chadli, Dendoncker.

Wales: Hennessey, Gunter, Taylor, Richards, Chester, A Williams, Allen, Robson-Kanu, Ramsey, Bale, Ledley.
Subs: Ward, O Williams, King, MacDonald, Church, Vokes, Lawrence, Matthews, Vaughan, Cotterill, Henley.

We’re less than an hour away from kick-off and the teams are in…

Hello and welcome to our live text commentary of Wales v Belgium. Tonight’s clash in Cardiff is a crucial one for both sides in their bid to qualify for Euro 2016. Belgium top group B, ahead of their host courtesy only of goal difference so it really is all to play for! Kick-off is at 19.45 BST.

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