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Euro 2016 quarter final

Fairytale goes on as Wales book semi-final place

Sam VokesFootball – Euro 2016: Wales booked their place in the semi-final of Euro 2016 with a convincing  3-1 victory over Belgium, one of the favourites to lift the trophy.

Chris Coleman’s team came back from a 13th minute strike from Nainggolan with three top-class goals in the game of the tournament.

And they managed to do so without their talisman Gareth Bale getting on the scoresheet.

An equaliser from Ashley Williams, a Cruyff-style second from Hal Robson-Kanu and a header from Sam Vokes (pictured) completed a historic night.

Wales play Portugal, who have yet to win a game in normal time, for a place in the final in Paris, and the game has the added spice of pitching Real Madrid stars Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo against each other.

Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey and Tottenham defender Ben Davies will miss the match after each picked up a second yellow card.

Ramsey, who received the card for handball, said afterwards: “It was a sort of natural reaction and I knew straight away it was a yellow.

“I’m really gutted. I’m confident in the players we have to step in and get us to the final.”

BBC co-commentator Robbie Savage was ecstatic as Vokes third goal made victory almost certain and tweeted his reaction with equal excitement.

Savage on Wales

Bale said: “We fought as hard as anyone. We covered every blade of grass. I think we deserve to be in the semi-finals. We believe in ourselves. We know what we’re doing.

“It feels incredible. We fully believed we could get this far. We said we’d give it a good go. We’re enjoying the journey.

“We’ll go into the semi-final with confidence. We can’t afford to look past that game. ”

Former Welsh international Dean Saunders said: “You start to think is our name on it? Nobody expected it to happen. Chris Coleman almost resigned four years ago after we lost 6-1 to Serbia. This will do so much to the country.”

Next match:

Germany v Italy (8pm, Sat)

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Novak vidTennis – Wimbledon: Defending champion Novak Djokovic will resume his third round match hoping to stay in the tournament after losing the first two sets to big-serving American Sam Querrey.

Querrey, the 6ft 6in world number 28, took a shock 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 lead before rain stopped play and gave the world number one some breathing space.

Djokovic has not lost in the third round of a Grand Slam since 2009, and is on course to win the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men’s tennis since Rod Laver in 1969.

Andy Murray takes on Australia’s John Millman on Saturday as the last British player left in the singles’ competition after defeats for Dan Evans and Tara Moore on Friday.

Former US Open winner Juan Martin del Potro whose career has been plagued by injury delivered a shock second-round win by knocking out fourth seed Stan Wawrinka.

Argentinian Del Potro, fighting his way back from 165th in the rankings, got the better of the Swiss Grand Slam winner 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 6-3.

 

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