Wales players celebrate their win over Belgium in the Euro 2016 quarterfinals, July 1, 2016Reuters

When the man without a club Hal Robson-Kanu did the Cruyff turn to bamboozle three Belgium defenders and coolly slot the ball past Thibaut Courtois, one of the best goalkeepers in the world, it was clear Wales were not going to be stopped from creating history. In a match that will be retold time and again by the Welsh for decades, if not centuries, to come, Chris Coleman's team showed they are a force to be reckoned with, and then some, with as complete a performance as you could have hoped for in a Euro 2016 quarterfinal.

Wales fought back gallantly to going a goal down – courtesy a rasping effort from Radja Nainggolan – by netting three of their own, with Ashley Williams starting the comeback, Robson-Kanu firing a ridiculous winner and Sam Vokes adding the icing on a cake that will feel sweet for a long, long time.

"You dream about nights like this," Wales manager Chris Coleman said. "You're never sure if you're going to be good or lucky enough to be involved in a night like this. It's indescribable really to experience it.

"Four years ago we were as far away from today as you could be. It's a great example of believing and working hard enough. That's what we've done and we find ourselves in an incredible position.

"I can imagine three million people back home going crazy. I know my team are good enough to perform against anybody."

The match was won by a great team ethic shown by the 11 players on the field, with Aaron Ramsey, yet again, putting in a shift of outstanding quality. Ramsey grabbed two assists in the match, one of which came for the winner, when Robson-Kanu produced a move that would have made the legends of his former club – Arsenal – rise up in appreciation.

"We're on cloud nine," Robson-Kanu, currently without a club, said. "We've been working for this for many years and it's about nights like this when we've got the rewards and taken the opportunities. We're so proud we've done the nation proud.

"We were underdogs even to qualify, but we knew the quality we had in the group and we've performed throughout. To put the performance in that we have today is a credit to everyone involved. We've got another game and we're going to take it seriously."

That game will be a Euro 2016 semifinal against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal. The Portuguese have not exactly been the most impressive of teams in this tournament, and if Wales put in another performance akin to this one, albeit without the suspended duo of Ramsey and Ben Davies, the Dragons could be looking at a major tournament final.

Coleman, though, refused to look that far ahead. "The whole experience for us is uncharted territory," Coleman added. "All we can do is to keep reiterating to them to never forget what it has taken for us to get here.

"We've got to approach the next game as we have all the others. We are not thinking of the final, much less thinking about winning the tournament. The big challenge is ourselves and getting our players to perform without fear."

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