Wales joins Belgium, Italy at Euro 2016

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PARIS: Wales reached the finals of an international tournament for the first time since the 1958 World Cup on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) when they qualified for Euro 2016 despite a 2-0 loss to Bosnia.

Wales secured their place when Israel lost 2-1 at home to Cyprus.

Belgium also went through from the same Group B thanks to a 4-1 victory over Andorra.

Earlier, Italy also made sure of their place in the finals in France next summer with a 3-1 win in Azerbaijan.


The Welsh, Belgium and Italy join already qualified Austria, the Czech Republic, England, France, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland in the 24-team finals.

Bosnia went in front after 71 minutes in Zenica when Miralem Pjanic delivered a long free-kick into the area and substitute Milan Djuric sent a looping header over goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.

Vedad Ibisevic added a second in the dying moments as Bosnia kept their play-off hopes alive.

But it didn’t matter for a buoyant Wales as Cyprus stunned Israel 2-1 in Jerusalem thanks to an 80th-minute drive from Jason Demetriou.

“It’s the best loss of my life,” said Wales’ Real Madrid star Gareth Bale.

“To achieve it is a dream come true and now we want to go out and get ready for France. It shows exactly what we’re about. We’re like brothers on the pitch.”

Belgium inflicted Andorra’s 49th defeat in Euro qualifying, making light of a rain-soaked, plastic pitch to record a 4-1 victory and a fifth European qualification.

Marc Wilmots’s side were a goal to the good after 19 minutes when Roma’s Radja Nainggolan scored with a long-range effort which took a slight deflection off Andorra defender Marc Rebes.

AFP

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