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British Isles at Euro 2016 report: Wales

| 13.07.2016

Lee Gormley | July 12, 2016

Wales Euro 2016 review

Following the conclusion of a fascinating Euro 2016 this summer, in which Portugal emerged as first-time victors in France, Coral are reviewing each of the British Isles nations’ performances across the Channel.

Next, we look at Chris Coleman’s Wales, so read on to see who starred and flopped for the Dragons this summer…

Stage of elimination: semi-final

Euro 2016 - Portugal v Wales - Cristiano Ronaldo Consoles Gareth Bale - Lyon

Wales were the last Home Nation standing on French soil as they managed to go all the way to the semi-final stage, where Coleman’s brave Dragons were tamed by eventual champions Portugal in a 2-0 defeat, thanks to goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani.

How they exited and why

EURO 2016 - Wales vs Portugal - Lyon

Wales set up a semi-final clash with Portugal after downing both Northern Ireland and Belgium in the last 16 and quarters, having topped their group ahead of England, impressing along the way with their great team spirit and work ethic.

The pick of their results was the 3-1 triumph over Belgium, but a Ronaldo-inspired Portugal ultimately got the better of them in a tough semi match-up, though they went home with heads held high.

Star player: Gareth Bale

Portugal v Wales - UEFA Euro 2016 - Semi-Final - Stade de Lyon

Real Madrid star Gareth Bale was one of the leading contenders for player of the tournament after his sublime displays helped his country reach the semis, as he struck three times, including goals against all their group opponents Slovakia, England and Russia.

Those goals included two superb free-kicks from long-range as in-form Bale proved his worth as the world’s most expensive player, showcasing both his incredible talents and national passion during an impressive campaign overall.

Biggest revelation: Hal Robson-Kanu

Wales v Slovakia - UEFA Euro 2016 - Group B - Stade de Bordeaux

Hal Robson-Kanu entered proceedings in France as a free agent, having been released by Reading on the eve of the tournament, but he will have no shortage of suitors this summer following heroics displays for his nation.

The 27-year-old netted one of the goals of the tournament against Belgium, turning the Red Devils backline inside out with a well-executed Cruyff turn and clinical finish, adding to his opening game winner over Slovakia in what was a personally uplifting summer.

Flop: James Collins

Portugal v Wales - UEFA Euro 2016 - Semi-Final - Stade de Lyon

From a nation that performed gallantly throughout their run to the semi-finals, it’s hard to pick anyone out as a flop, but centre back James Collins only started one game and the Dragons lost it.

That was of course the semi-final defeat to Portugal, with the towering defender having been run ragged by an in-form Ronaldo and was lucky not to concede a penalty for bringing down the Real Madrid ace too.

Managerial performance: Chris Coleman

Soccer Euro 2016 Wales Belgium

Coleman’s efforts in guiding Wales to the France finals were superb, but to go on a reach the sems was a testament to the belief he has instilled into this group of players.

The 46-year-old Swansea-born coach brought the best out of previously under-performing fringe players and oversaw the rampant displays from both star men Bale and Aaron Ramsey, and Coleman is 2/1 with Coral to help Wales secure top spot in 2018 World Cup qualifying Group D.

Final grade: A

Wales v Belgium - UEFA Euro 2016 - Quarter Final - Stade Pierre Mauroy

Overall, the Welsh fans were treated to a mesmerising Euro 2016, one which they will never forget, thanks to sublime showings from a closely-knitted squad and manager.

The future looks bright for the Dragons after such a successful summer, and the nation will now be expecting similar performances in their bid to reach Russia in two years’ time, but Wales have proved they can mix it up with the bug guns of international football.


Read our extensive Euro 2016 archive following the tournament’s conclusion.

Look ahead to the new Premier League season with our English top-flight section.

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Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.