Coleman delighted as Wales show "heart and spirit" to make history

The Welsh boss was quick to move onto the quarter-final after a historic win against Northern Ireland at Euro 2016.

Coleman delighted as Wales show "heart and spirit" to make history
Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport

After Wales' very own Galactico Gareth Bale led his country to glory once more, manager Chris Coleman was delighted, revelling in a historic moment.

Bale crossed into Hal Robson-Kanu in the second half to see Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley prod it into his own net.

Bale and Ramsey celebrate Wales' winner | Photo: Philippe Lopez/AFP
Bale and Ramsey celebrate Wales' winner | Photo: Philippe Lopez/AFP

It was a fantastic achievement for Wales to qualify for their first European Championships. They built on that, creating history as they topped Group B despite being drawn alongside England. Now, they've gone one further once more. Coleman has guided his side to a European Championship quarter-final, the nation's first ever.

Coleman quick to focus on quarter-final

After the game dubbed as "the Battle of Britain", the first meeting between two Home Nations side at a major international tournament, Coleman was quick to give his "commiserations to Michael [O'Neill, Northern Ireland manager] and his team."

Coleman described O'Neil team as being "better than us today" but he was proud of his players are they "showed great heart and spirit." Thanks to that spirit, which has been at the heart of Wales' history-making year, Wales "hung on" and "came through it."

Having thrashed Russia 3-0 in their final game of the group stages, which saw them top Group B, with fast-flowing football and a great number of chances, this was different. Coleman said that Wales showed "another side" of the squad.

Bale celebrates after the game with his daughter, Alba | Photo: Damien Meyer/AFP
Bale celebrates after the game with his daughter, Alba | Photo: Damien Meyer/AFP

They will face either Belgium, the second best team in the World according to the FIFA rankings, or Hungary, another surprise outfit in this competition.

Coleman enjoying win against Northern Ireland

Coleman insisted that rather than celebrate the win on Saturday evening, Wales have "just got to plan for the next game" but "can't afford" to "plan [any] further than the next 45 minutes."

Despite that, for just this evening maybe, Coleman said that he and his squad will "enjoy this, though."