When you find yourself in an unfamiliar position, it can go one of two ways -- either you embrace that position and make the best out of it, or you go into panic mode, leading to a night you would much rather forget.
Wales find themselves in those unchartered waters having moved into the semifinals of a major tournament for the first time in their history. And, they have managed to do that playing some fantastic football, which is something you cannot say about their opponents Portugal.
While Wales have won four of their five matches in the tournament so far, Portugal are yet to beat a team in 90 minutes in Euro 2016. They drew all three of their games in the group stages, scraping into the last 16 as one of the best third-placed teams, before seeing off the challenge of Croatia in the 117th minute of extra time, courtesy a Cristiano-Ronaldo-strike-rebound-finish by Ricardo Quaresma – that was also a match that will go down in the history of the European Championships as one of the dullest of all-time.
Goals were hard to come by in the quarterfinal as well, with the match against Poland ending 1-1 after extra time, before Portugal did the business in the penalty shootout to seal their place in the semifinals.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in just one of the five matches for Portugal, when they played their best – well, at least, most exciting – game of Euro 2016. With this match being tipped as the contest between the two Real Madrid superstars – Ronaldo vs Gareth Bale – the former will be desperate to come out on top.
But then, as Wales have shown, time and again, they are a real force to be reckoned with in this Euro 2016. Winning their group might have been impressive, but the manner in which they humbled Belgium was a sight to behold and that 3-1 victory will give Wales all the confidence they need going into this match, even without the suspended duo of Aaron Ramsey, one of the players of the tournament, and Ben Davies.
As long as Wales stay strong at the back, you feel they will go on to win this match in the 90 minutes, because there is some serious cutting edge in this lineup, particularly with an inspired Bale leading the way. As good as Bale might be for Real Madrid, he seems to go up a couple more levels when he puts on the Wales shirt, and with a final against Germany or France at stake, expect the former Tottenham man to lead from the front again.
Wales will definitely be the choice of the neutrals, but Portugal have the experience and major tournament nous, and that might prove to be the difference in this Euro 2016 semifinal.
Euro 2016 semifinal schedule: Portugal vs Wales.
Date: Wednesday, July 6.
Time: 9 p.m. local time (12.30 a.m. IST, 8 p.m. BST, 3 p.m. ET).
Venue: Stade de Lyon in Lyon.
TV listings: India: Sony Six/HD and Sony ESPN/HD. France: Bein Sports 1. UK and Ireland: ITV1 and S4C. Portugal: Sport TV1 and RTP 1. Middle East and North Africa: Bein Max 1, 2 and 3. USA: ESPN. Australia: Bein Sports Australia 1. Canada: TSN1 and RDS. Latin America: Direct TV. South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: SuperSport 3. China and Hong Kong: CCTV5 and LeTV. Malaysia: Astro SuperSport. Singapore: Eleven Singapore, ABS-CBN and Singtel. Thailand: CTH and Channel 3.