Match ends, Wales 0, Israel 0.
Euro 2016: Wales 0-0 Israel
Wales were made to wait in their bid to qualify for Euro 2016 as they were held to a frustrating goalless draw by Israel.
Wales seized control early on with chances for Andy King and Aaron Ramsey but they were shackled by a rigid Israel side.
The hosts continued to press after the break and Simon Church had an injury-time goal ruled out for offside, meaning Chris Coleman's side have not yet confirmed an end to Wales' 57-year absence from major tournaments.
Wales remain top of Group B and their hopes are still in their own hands, with games away against Bosnia-Herzegovina and at home to lowly Andorra to come in October.
Coleman's team are a point ahead of second-placed Belgium, who beat Cyprus 1-0 later on Sunday, and five in front of Israel in third, but this stalemate at an expectant Cardiff City Stadium interrupted the momentum of the Welsh campaign after three successive wins.
- Player ratings; how did the Wales players do in Cardiff?
- No panic for Wales, says Ashley Williams
- Wales still on course to qualify, says Chris Coleman
The wait goes on - for now
Since a goal by Pele knocked Wales out of the 1958 World Cup, Welsh football fans have had to endure generations of near misses, misfortune and plain misery.
But Coleman's side have given their supporters renewed hope and still stand on the brink of banishing half a century of heartache.
Anticipation abounded around Cardiff ahead of this game against Israel, the nation they beat in a play-off to reach those 1958 finals.
Roared on by a vociferous sell-out crowd, Wales thrived on the magnitude of the occasion and dominated from the start.
King had a shot saved by Ofir Marciano and Ramsey headed the rebound over and, although Wales continued to press, they were frustrated by their organised opponents.
Celebrations cut short
There may have been a few doubts creeping into Welsh minds as the wait for a goal dragged further into the second half.
Bale clipped a free-kick narrowly over the bar from the edge of the Israeli area, the hosts were denied a clear penalty for a handball by Israel's Eitan Tibi, and King's header from a Ramsey corner was held on the line by Marciano.
The home crowd thought the breakthrough had arrived in injury time as substitute Church headed into the net but the roars of celebration were cut short as his effort was correctly ruled out for offside.
It made for a heavy sense of anti-climax inside Cardiff City Stadium, the home crowd made to wait for their moment of glory.
Man of the match - Aaron Ramsey
Wales conclude their campaign with a double-header next month, visiting Bosnia-Herzegovina on 10 October before hosting group minnows Andorra three days later.
That final encounter at Cardiff City Stadium could be the setting for an almighty party, as Wales may already have sealed qualification.
What they said...
Wales manager Chris Coleman: "Had we scored early, it would have settled us down. It is in our hands so Israel and Belgium have to do their work to catch us."
Wales captain Ashley Williams: "They made it difficult for us. We wanted to get it done and dusted today but is has been a positive week with four points."
Former Wales striker John Hartson on BBC Radio 5 live: "They should have won but the official bottled it [over the penalty decision]. My five year-old daughter Stephanie would have done better than him today. But I believe we are on our way to France."
The stats you need to know
- Wales need one more point to qualify for their first major tournament since 1958
- The Welsh extended their record unbeaten run to 10 qualifying games, with six wins and four draws. They were last beaten in September 2013
- Chris Coleman's side have now kept six clean sheets in their eight qualifiers, including their last five games
- 4RichardsBooked at 59mins
- 8KingSubstituted forVokesat 86'minutes
- 9Robson-KanuBooked at 79minsSubstituted forChurchat 79'minutes
- 12Fon Williams
- 16DasaBooked at 45mins
- 19DganiBooked at 56mins
- 3Ben Haim
- 20Ben Harush
- 4BittonBooked at 61mins
- 6NatchoBooked at 56mins
- 8KayalSubstituted forBen Haimat 45'minutes
- 7ZahaviSubstituted forSaharat 90+3'minutes
- 9DabourBooked at 18minsSubstituted forHemedat 45'minutes
- 11Bar Buzaglo
- 12Ben Haim
- Ivan Bebek
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Wales 0, Israel 0.
Offside, Wales. Gareth Bale tries a through ball, but Simon Church is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Aaron Ramsey (Wales) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sam Vokes.
Substitution, Israel. Ben Sahar replaces Eran Zahavi.
Foul by Sam Vokes (Wales).
Ofir Marciano (Israel) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Wales. Conceded by Orel Dgani.
Corner, Wales. Conceded by Orel Dgani.
Attempt saved. Gareth Bale (Wales) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.
Offside, Wales. Dave Edwards tries a through ball, but Sam Vokes is caught offside.
Substitution, Wales. Sam Vokes replaces Andy King.
Attempt missed. Gareth Bale (Wales) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.
Corner, Israel. Conceded by Wayne Hennessey.
Attempt saved. Tommer Hemed (Israel) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Tal Ben Haim II with a cross.
Simon Church (Wales) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Tal Ben Haim (Israel).
Substitution, Wales. Simon Church replaces Hal Robson-Kanu.
Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales).
Tal Ben Haim (Israel) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Dangerous play by Jazz Richards (Wales).
Tal Ben Haim II (Israel) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Omri Ben Harush (Israel) because of an injury.
Jazz Richards (Wales) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Tal Ben Haim II (Israel).
Attempt missed. Bebras Natcho (Israel) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Omri Ben Harush.
Corner, Wales. Conceded by Ofir Marciano.
Attempt saved. Dave Edwards (Wales) header from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey with a cross.
Corner, Wales. Conceded by Tal Ben Haim II.
Attempt blocked. Aaron Ramsey (Wales) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andy King.
Ashley Williams (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Tommer Hemed (Israel).
Attempt saved. Andy King (Wales) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey with a cross.
Nir Bitton (Israel) is shown the yellow card.
Corner, Wales. Conceded by Eli Dasa.
Jazz Richards (Wales) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Jazz Richards (Wales).
Tal Ben Haim II (Israel) wins a free kick in the attacking half.