Support our Nation today - please donate here
Sport

On this day in 2016: Hal Robson-Kanu helps Wales into European Championship semi

01 Jul 2024 2 minute read
Hal Robson-Kanu after scoring his wonder goal against Belgium (Credit: PA)

Hal Robson-Kanu scored a sensational individual goal as Wales reached their first semi-final of a major tournament with a 3-1 victory over Belgium at the European Championship, on this day in 2016.

On a night dripping with raw emotion in Lille, Chris Coleman’s side went one better than their 1958 predecessors who reached the last eight of the World Cup.

Wales pulled off the stunning quarter-final upset the hard way, with Ashley Williams, Robson-Kanu and substitute Sam Vokes the goal-scoring heroes after Radja Nainggolan’s thunderous strike put Belgium ahead.

Hundreds of Wales fans were caught up in Eurotunnel delays before kick-off, but there did not look a spare seat at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, with Belgians having travelled in their thousands from just across the border.

Captain Williams claimed only his second goal in an eight-year international career, heading home Aaron Ramsey’s 31st-minute corner to cancel out Nainggolan’s eye-catching opener.

Magic

Then Robson-Kanu, a free agent after leaving Reading, produced a delightful Cruyff turn to deceive three Belgium defenders before emphatically beating Thibaut Courtois, with the moment of magic later nominated for the FIFA Puskas Award.

A much-fancied Belgium team packed with talent, including Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, pushed for a leveller before Vokes’ glancing header put the result beyond doubt five minutes from time to set up a semi-final showdown with Portugal.

Manager Coleman said: “I think you dream about nights like this. We find ourselves in an incredible position and it’s obviously extremely pleasing and we’re enjoying every minute of it.”

The landmark success came at a cost as bookings for Ramsey and Ben Davies ruled them out of the semi-final in Lyon.

Second-half goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani subsequently ended Wales’ unforgettable adventure, with Portugal going on to defeat hosts France in the final in Paris.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
8 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
13 days ago

An unforgettable day and night in Lille, a great atmosphere during the game and the Belgians were very gracious in defeat.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
13 days ago

Irrespective of how poorly the Welsh national team is currently performing, I will never ever tire of watching highlights from that memorable win.

Riki
Riki
13 days ago

And there in after, England went to Uefa with so many complaints (Can’t substantiate it), IMO!!! Out of embarrassment. lol.

Rob
Rob
13 days ago
Reply to  Riki

They should have beaten Iceland then.

Rob
Rob
13 days ago

3.25 “The best of British now taking on the best in Europe”

….and this is why Welsh and Scottish fans love to cheer against England. Its as though as if the greatest night in Welsh football history should be shared with the rest of the UK. If England beat Switzerland will that be ‘the best of British?’ As the Scots say when Any Murray is winning he is British, when he loses he is Scottish.
I’m not a Welsh speaker but I love and understand the passion and emotion of the S4C commentators whenever Wales score in a big match.

Glen
Glen
13 days ago

The Robson ap Kanu goal was a stunner but it was the Sam Vokes goal that really sealed the win an allowed us all to relax.

Billy James
Billy James
13 days ago

Superb & thanks for posting the Utube highlights…

Billy James
Billy James
13 days ago

Euro 2024 is woeful & poor compared to the matches that were played by the nations in Euro 2016…

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.