The Welsh people couldn't be prouder of their lads tonight
Published 06/07/2016 | 22:15
Alas, it wasn’t to be. Wales, confronted by a compact, efficient Portugal unit, just couldn’t muster one more feat of heroics.
With practically the entire football world willing them on in Lyon, it seemed written in the stars that Wales, spurred on by the memory of Gary Speed, would make that seismic march to the final in Paris on Sunday.
After a forgettable first half, which the Welsh had the better of, Portugal struck twice in the space of three minutes after the break.
Ronaldo, seemingly defying the laws of gravity, powered home a magnificent header to put his side in front, then Nani doubled the lead before Wales had a chance to process the fact that they were behind.
Undeterred, they battled to the end, but simply lacked the cunning to claw their way back into contention. They might lament not capitalising on Portugal's early indifference, but few regrets could be had from their time in France. And, in all honesty, Portugal were more than worth their 2-0 victory.
The first Welsh team to grace a major tournament since 1958, they are the pride of their nation tonight.
They were extraordinary. Bursting with pride and we'll be talking about it for the next 58 years. Thank you boys. #WALPOR— Taron Egerton (@TaronEgerton) July 6, 2016
#WALPOR Proud of all our boys, of Chris Coleman and bloody proud to be Welsh xxx— Joanna Page (@jopage_) July 6, 2016
The boys did us proud #WALPOR— kathleen hammett (@kathleenhammet1) July 6, 2016
A very dignified end for Wales. I have a gutted overtired 7 yr old on my hands but we loved the ride while it lasted. Well done #WALPOR— Anna Sparham (@anna_sparham) July 6, 2016