Euro 2016: 'Chris Coleman's Wales are up where they belong'

By Rob PhillipsBBC Wales football correspondent in Dinard
Wales celebrate beating Slovakia
Wales lead Group B after the win over Slovakia

Welsh sport has another iconic occasion to celebrate - and now what?

The scenes both on an off the field in Bordeaux were unforgettable.

But most importantly Wales' 2-1 victory over Slovakia suggests there are still more memories to be created in Euro 2016.

Wales manager Chris Coleman often says his team are on a journey. This adventure looks like lasting a while yet.

If Bordeaux proved anything, it was Wales deserved to be on the top European stage.

And Coleman showed a tactical acumen which some questioned early in his reign.

Against Slovakia, Coleman masterminded the most significant victory of his 32-game reign as manager and his 32 caps as a player.

His tactical substitutions worked brilliantly. Not just with Hal Robson-Kanu netting the winner, but also the timing of Joe Ledley's introduction to add renewed drive to the Wales engine room as Slovakia threatened to take the points.

The influence of the dangerous Marek Hamsik was neutered largely by the Welsh work rate - led by the outstanding Joe Allen - Aaron Ramsey and David Edwards; and supplemented by the willingness of Gareth Bale and the durable Jonathan Williams to track back.

Now for England

Next it is England; the game which has attracted so much attention since the draw.

There are plenty of reasons not to relish the battle with the neighbours - not least the fact that Wales have not beaten them since 1984.

But the presence of Bale ensures Wales will have THE best player on either side at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens.

Wales should have number one goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey fit again after missing the Slovakia clash with a back problem, though the calm Liverpool stopper Danny Ward did his long term prospects no harm with a solid show on his surprise full debut.

If all fitness worries are removed, Joe Ledley will be vying to start, though David Edwards stepped in with the necessary energy and physical commitment.

Robson-Kanu or Williams?

The Wales team that started against Slovakia
The last time a Wales team lined up for a pre-match team picture at a major tournament was in the 1958 World Cup

And Coleman faces a real dilemma in deciding whether Robson-Kanu is rewarded for his goal with a place in the starting line-up. Williams worked tirelessly, but Bale looked more effective when running from deep with Robson-Kanu the focal point of the attack.

One more Group B win would ensure Wales' passage into the last 16 - a huge achievement in itself.

But whatever happens now, Bordeaux proved Wales' players are fit for this stage.

As are the Welsh fans.

French daily sports paper L'Equipe reckoned the rendition of the Welsh national anthem inside the Stade de Bourdeaux brought "goosebumps".

So too did the joyous after-match celebrations of the supporters into the early hours, which included an impromptu friendly football match against Slovak fans in the middle of a square in the city.

The scenes will remain a happy memory, and there may be more to come.

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