Saturday 22 October 2016

The Welsh people couldn't be prouder of their lads tonight

Tom Rooney

Published 06/07/2016 | 22:15

Chris Coleman is a man in demand
Chris Coleman is a man in demand

Alas, it wasn’t to be. Wales, confronted by a compact, efficient Portugal unit, just couldn’t muster one more feat of heroics.

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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.

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