Gareth Bale fires Wales to sensational victory over Belgium

Wales moved to within touching distance of Euro 2016 qualification with a sensational 1-0 victory over Belgium as Gareth Bale scored on his 50th international appearance.

The win moves Chris Coleman’s side to the top of Group B, with 14 points, three points ahead of Belgium and five points ahead of third placed Israel.

Bale dominated much of the pre-match build up and his well-taken goal on 25 minutes means he will also take the post-match headlines.

Belgium failed to deal with a free-kick and Radja Nainggolan explicitly headed the back towards Bale who slid the ball between the legs of Thibaut Courtois.

It was the visitors who started the brightest in front of a packed Cardiff City Stadium and Nainggolan could have put his side ahead in the early stages only to be denied by a great save from Wayne Hennessey.

Eden Hazard came close a couple of minutes later but it was Wales who struck first – sending Belgium, who currently occupy second place in the FIFA World Rankings – into a state of shock. In truth, Belgium rarely troubled goalkeeper Hennessey throughout the 90 minutes.

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke looked off the pace and Everton’s Romelu Lukaka, a second-half substitute, failed to make any sort of impact. Indeed, the hosts looked rather comfortable, even in the latter stages of the match, and secured a vital three points in an unforgettable night in Wales.

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