Wales had fans purring as they netted a superb early goal against Belgium in Wednesday’s 2022 World Cup qualifying tie.
Just 10 minutes had elapsed in the Group E clash at Leuven’s Den Dreef stadium when the visitors sent social media into a frenzy with a wonderfully worked team effort.
— FanTeam (@FanTeamOfficial) March 24, 2021
The attack began in Wales’ own half, with some beautiful one and two-touch football then ensuing, with Gareth Bale at the centre of the action.
The Tottenham loanee – who caused a stir this week by revealing that he planned to return to parent club Real Madrid in the summer – provided an initial stellar one-touch pass with the outside of his boot to find Connor Roberts.
Swansea’s Roberts then squared the ball back to Bale courtesy of a cute Harry Wilson dummy, with the Liverpool winger – currently on loan at Championship play-off chasers Cardiff – continuing into the penalty area and expertly slotting Bale’s second pass beyond the despairing Thibaut Courtois first time.
It was a goal of tremendous quality, but Wales supporters did not have long to savour it as Belgium quickly hit back with a terrific long-range strike from Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne, who was given far too much space to shoot beyond Leicester’s Danny Ward.
De Bruyne against Wales so far:
1 Goal ⚽️
1 Pre-Assist 🪄
3 Chances Created 🎯
1 Big Chance Created 🎯
79.3% Passing accuracy 🪡
— KDB Report (@KDBReport) March 24, 2021
To make matters worse for Wales, still coached by Robert Page with manager Ryan Giggs absent, Thorgan Hazard headed home Thomas Meunier’s right-wing cross just six minutes later to put the hosts in front after a crucial slip from Roberts.
Joe Allen also suffered an injury just eight minutes into his return to international action and was replaced by Joe Morrell.