Wales are through to the Euro 2016 tournament in France next summer despite losing 2-0 to Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday.
The Welsh are through as Israel fell to Cyprus and made it impossible for the team behind to catch Belgium and Wales at the top of Group B with one game remaining. After the 2-0 loss to Bosnia and Herzegovina, joyous supporters and players were celebrating despite losing the game.
“It’s really strange, I’ve never been so happy to lose 2-0,” Wales manager Chris Coleman said after the game. “Obviously when I was walking off I saw our supporters singing and then our secretary, Mark Evans, whispered in my ear that Israel had lost, so it was game on after that, all smiles. It probably won’t sink in for a few days because we’ve waited so long. I don’t just mean as a manager or a player, even when I was a kid I was waiting for us to qualify and we missed out and missed out. So for us to finally do it, I can’t describe the feeling because there was a lot of emotion involved.
“In my career it’s the biggest thing I’ve ever achieved. I played for some good clubs, but I’ve never done anything like this. It doesn’t matter where I go after Wales, I’m not sure anything is going to top this feeling.”
Wales superstar Gareth Bale has scored six out of Wales’ nine goal during the qualifiers, and he also puts this as a magical moment in his career.
“This is right up there in my career,” Bale said. “It was a dream from when I was a small child to play in a major tournament. It doesn’t stop here, we have business to do in France. We can breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy the occasion. We are like brothers on the pitch. If we lose the ball we fight for it back. We can now test ourselves against the best.”