Wales

Euro 2016: Fans go wild as Wales secure semi-final place

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionSupporters in the fan zone in Cooper's Field, Cardiff, celebrate as Ashley Williams scores

Wales fans are celebrating as the football team secured its place in its first ever semi-final in a major tournament.

The stadium in Lille, France, and Cardiff's fan zone erupted with cheers when the final whistle blew in the Euro 2016 quarter final game, which ended 3-1 against Belgium.

It was billed as Wales' biggest game since the 1958 World Cup.

The team will now play Portugal in Lyon on Wednesday.

In an exhilarating game in northern France, Wales went one better than their 1958 predecessors who reached the last eight of the World Cup.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Wales celebrate after beating Belgium
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionWales fans in Lille fan zone sing 'don't take me home'
Image copyright All Sport/Getty Images
Image caption Neil Taylor and Hal Robson-Kanu with their children

However, the game got off to a tense start after Wales fell behind to Radja Nainggolan's strike in the first 15 minutes.

But the team thundered back with Ashley Williams, Hal Robson-Kanu and substitute Sam Vokes proving the goal-scoring heroes.

Thousands of Wales fans travelled to Lille for the quarter-final match, with many congregating in the fan zone.

Some had faced hours of travel delays at the Eurotunnel to reach the stadium.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionSupporters in the Cardiff fan zone celebrate as Hal Robson-Kanu scores

After the final whistle, Neil Davies, 49, from south Wales, said Wales had played "brilliantly" and he had tears in his eyes.

He said: "I thought if Belgium went 1-0 up then that would be it. They did and I thought that's us done. To come back the way we did - unbelievable."

Paula Hart, 41, from Swansea, said: "It's just been immense. The Belgian fans have been the best, so fair play to them.

"I'm now thinking about the final. Portugal haven't been great so why not start thinking about it?"

Image copyright AP
Image caption Julian Richards and his son Joel were among the fans in Lille

Julian Richards, 31, of Pontypool, said: "It feels absolutely fantastic.

"What we've had in the quarter-final and what I think we'll have in the semi-final is belief. Belief breeds confidence."

Mr Richards, who was in the Lille fan zone, said: "One thing I will say is Belgian fans, best in the world."

He took his 14-year-old son, Joel, to Lille and he said the Belgian fans had given him flags and glasses.

Image caption Geraint Thomas celebrates at the Lille fan zone

Geraint Thomas, 51, of Menai Bridge, Anglesey, said: "Here with the proper fans [in the fan zone] it's worth the £200 you would have to pay for a ticket."

And he was unequivocal about where Wales were headed in Euro 2016.

"Next weekend we've going to the final. Forget Portugal, we're going to the final."

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionWales fans in Cardiff's fan zone celebrate Sam Vokes' third goal

After the game, Aaron Ramsey tweeted: "What a performance, to a man absolute quality. We have the best staff and fans in the world."

Gareth Bale wrote: "DON'T TAKE ME HOME!" which has become a song popular with fans enjoying their time following Wales in France.

Gary Lineker ended the BBC's Match of the Day programme saying it was "the greatest night in Wales' footballing history".

Welshman and Hollywood actor Ioan Gruffudd wrote: "What a come back."

First Minister Carwyn Jones added: "Incredible! Magnificent! Historic!"

Image copyright European Photopress Agency
Image caption Fans in the Cardiff fan zone
Image copyright All Sport / Getty Images
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright AP
Image copyright AP

More on this story