Speak it quietly so as to avoid potential disappointment, but Wales are looking like a side that finally believe that they can reach the finals of another major #Football tournament, over 50 years since their last one. That confidence is oozing down from the man in charge of their current success, Chris Coleman, as he oversaw another stylish success in Israel yesterday. Gareth Bale provided plenty of pace and swagger in his two-goal performance, helping Wales to a 3-0 success over the Israelis.
With England having continued their seemingly clear cut march to the Euro Championship finals in France next year, thanks to a 4-0 dispatching of Lithuania on Friday night, there are high hopes that other home nations' sides will join them at Euro 2016, Wales featuring high, among the potential participants. Once again, Bale seemed to be a man possessed when he donned his national colours in their latest Group B contest. He scored twice, once from a trademark free-kick and another from slightly closer in, anticipating where the ball would end up after a sweeping Welsh move, to stroke the ball past the Israeli keeper. Wales' opening score had been provided by the equally essential Aaron Ramsey on the stroke of half-time.
True, their winning margin may have had at least a degree of assistance from the home side being reduced to 10 men, six minutes after the interval, when Eitan Tibi was shown a second yellow card. That allowed the visitors an extra margin for error as they sought to retain possession towards the end and make the short-handed side chase the ball.
Bale seemed to be given a free hand to maraud through the centre of the pitch for the Welsh, his pace and directness causing Israel's defenders plenty of moments of concern as a result, particularly Tibi, as he attempted to halt a typical run and fell foul of the referee's wrath. His end product wasn't always the best as one snatched shot during the second half demonstrated, but while he was on the offensive, Israel could do little at the other end. It allowed Coleman's men to ease their way to the much-needed three points and to the top of the group.
Belgium seem to be the big dangers in Group B, their 5-0 win at home to Cyprus ensuring that they kept pace with the Welsh just three points behind them, with a game in hand and far superior goal difference. Marouane Fellaini and Villa's Christian Benteke scored their first-half goals, with Fellaini adding a second goal after the break, along with Eden Hazard and Michy Batshuayi.