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Brave Welsh keep Euro dreams alive

WALES survived a late onslaught to force a goalless draw against Belgium in their Euro 2016 qualifying Group B match last night, with their key man Gareth Bale making a game-saving intervention in the dying seconds.

The Real Madrid star, who started his career as a left-back, was back in his old position with seconds remaining to clear a header off the line from substitute Christian Benteke.

But a winner for Belgium then would have been a huge injustice as Wales defended heroically against the team ranked fourth in the world.

Belgium, virtually camped in Wales' half for the last 10 minutes, were left to rue wasted chances in the first half, the best of which saw Nicolas Lombaerts hit the post.

"We're disappointed. Today we lacked that bit of luck for the ball to fall well in front of goal," said Belgian'keeper Thibaut Courtois afterwards.

However, the reaction was different from the Welsh side.

Coach Chris Coleman (pictured, above) said: "It was exciting and my heart was in my mouth once or twice, but I thought it was an incredible performance from our lads.

"We were up against a team labelled as the best Belgium team ever, so to come here and take a point speaks volumes for our players.

"It wasn't pretty at times but who cares? It's about points," added Coleman.

"We learnt from the last campaign where we played some much better football, we had a lot of chances, we kept getting beat too much.

"(It was) Too easy when we didn't have the ball but we're a much tougher outfit now.

"That's two clean sheets in four games. Two clean sheets against the two top teams, Bosnia and Belgium, so we're on the right path, that's for sure."

"That is a tremendous result. Coming to the home of the team ranked fourth in the world and getting a point is fantastic," said Bale. "We started a bit slow but we showed true courage and true character."

Asked about his late clearance he said: "You have to do those things. Everyone has to do everything we all work for each other and that showed it."

Wales came close to an early lead, when Courtois was forced to fist a skilfully curled free kick by Bale away from the post.

Bale had another big chance in the second half, when he sped past the Belgian defence on the left and his shot only went a few inches past Courtois's far post.

Wales, hoping to qualify for a major tournament for the first time since they reached the World Cup finals in 1958, are unbeaten after four games.


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