UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Wales go clear as Bale strike defeats Belgium

Wales 1-0 Belgium
Making his 50th international appearance, Gareth Bale scored in the first half as Wales opened up a three-point lead at the top of Group B.

See how Bale helped Wales to qualifiers win against Belgium

Gareth Bale scores the only goal on his 50th appearance for Wales
Wales's fourth win in six games moves them three points clear at the top of Group B
Belgium drop to second place after their first defeat
The Red Devils cannot make their sustained late pressure pay
Next games: Cyprus v Wales, Belgium v Bosnia and Herzegovina (3 September)

Wales took a big step towards UEFA EURO 2016 qualification as Gareth Bale's goal earned them a hard-fought victory over Group B rivals Belgium.

These nations began the night level on points at the top of the section but thanks to Bale's first-half strike, Wales now sit three points clear – with a first major finals appearance since 1958 now firmly in their sights.

Bale was the Wales hero at an electric Cardiff City Stadium, scoring after Radja Nainggolan made the error of trying to head the ball back to Thibaut Courtois following a half-cleared Wales free-kick. Instead the ball landed on the chest of the Real Madrid CF player, who swivelled and fired low past the goalkeeper.

It was his 17th international strike on his 50th Wales appearance and his team could easily have had a second goal in the 33rd minute when Toby Alderweireld hit a clearance straight to Hal Robson-Kanu, who placed his effort wide.

Belgium had made the more confident start, Nainggolan testing home goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey with a low shot and Eden Hazard driving an attempt over the bar after some uncertain Welsh defending.

Marc Wilmots, the Belgium coach, acted at half-time by removing Dries Mertens and sending on Romelu Lukaku to partner Christian Benteke. Kevin De Bruyne, who had begun in the No10 role vacated by the injured Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli, moved to the right flank and Belgium's threat grew.

Benteke diverted a far-post corner wide, then De Bruyne sent an effort whistling past the post but Wales, with some brave last-ditch defending, coped with the waves of pressure to earn a famous win.