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FAN BLOG | JAMES MCGUIRE
Well, what can I say. It's the golden generation of Welsh football, and I can say after a unforgettable campaign, that I am proud to be apart of it.
We started off shaky against Andorra, on probably the worst pitch I've ever seen in my entire life, going 1-0 down after 6 minutes. We all thought 'here we go again, another miserable qualifying campaign'.. However we fought back after two Gareth Bale goals saved us from humiliation.
We then found our feet.. After a draw at home to Bosnia, we then beat the Cypriots 2-1 thanks to David Cotterill and Hal Robson Kanu, where we also dug deep due to Andy King's sending off early in the second half.
When it came to November, that's when things came to a turning point. A fantastic draw out in Belgium gave us even more hope that we would qualify for our first major tournament since 1958! We then outplayed the Israelis on their own turf thanks to Aaron Ramsey and two Gareth Bale goals.
It was all set for a showdown at the Cardiff City Stadium against the Belgians for the biggest game we've had in Welsh football for quite some time. After a Naingolan mistake, the magic man Gareth Bale, capitalised by putting the ball home through Courtois' legs, as the stadium erupted!
A 1-0 win and three more points brought us closer to history, as it was a night that no Welsh fan would ever forget at the Cardiff City Stadium! A win away at Cyprus was ticked off the list, as a stunning cross from Jazz Richards, was netted in by the one and only Gareth Bale.
If we had beaten Israel three days later, we would have made history, however a 0-0 draw against a solid Israeli team crashed the party, as Simon Church's header was disallowed for offside.
10th October 2015.. A very tough trip away at Bosnia was next on the fixture list. However Wales fans were left disappointed at the final whistle, as the boys lost there first match of the campaign after two Bosnian goals in the second half. However, news broke through that Cyprus had beaten Israel, meaning that it was impossible for Wales to slip in to the play off place! We had qualified!!
After all, it ended up being a night to remember for all Wales fans across the country! We finally did it! A 2-0 Andorra win at home topped it off as it proved to be the most memorable qualifying campaign in the history of Welsh football. It's been a fantastic pleasure to be apart of the experience, and I would like to say a massive thank you to Chris Coleman and all the players making Welsh football... what it should be. Thank you. #TogetherStronger.