Manager Chris Coleman says Wales showed "heart and courage" as they reached the Euro 2016 quarter-finals with a 1-0 win over Northern Ireland.
Wales edged a tense last-16 match at the Parc des Princes in Paris courtesy of Gareth McAuley's own goal.
Coleman's side will face Belgium or Hungary in the last eight.
"These boys, the good thing about them is they have a bit of spirit about them and when they're not playing so well they can hang in," Coleman said.
"We showed a lot of heart, a lot of courage and showed another side to our game.
"We came through it and it is a fantastic achievement - it feels brilliant."
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Better team lost
Northern Ireland had frustrated Wales with a resolute defensive display until McAuley's 75th-minute own goal.
And Coleman conceded Michael O'Neill's side, also appearing in their first European Championship finals, were the better team on the day.
"Northern Ireland were the underdogs and you wouldn't have thought that looking at the game," Coleman told BBC Sport.
"Northern Ireland are very organised. Michael has got them working very hard for each other and they're dangerous.
"We had to be patient and we hung on in there. The performance does not put a downer on it.
"I would rather be standing here, in the quarter-final, having not played at our best."
Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, whose cross led to the winning goal, hailed Wales' achievement in reaching the quarter-finals as "incredible".
Wales are playing in a first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup.
"We knew it was going to be an ugly match and no disrespect to Ireland, but they make it difficult to play and we knew that, we knew it from the start," Bale said.
"We knew that up top we were not going to get much service, there is not much space, but we worked hard and did everything we could.
"We knew one goal would likely be enough to win the game and thankfully it came for us.
"You can't ask for any more than this - it is incredible."
Williams injury worry
Wales ended the contest with skipper Ashley Williams suffering with an apparent arm injury.
Williams already seemed to be moving tentatively before a bruising collision with team-mate Jonny Williams floored and rattled him late on.
Substitute James Collins was ready to enter the game, but Williams insisted he stayed on the field.
"He's a bit tender with his shoulder. The next 24-48 hours will be key," Coleman said.
"It will be crucial whether it's bruising, whether it's impact or - hopefully not - there's damage to any ligaments or a tear in his muscle."
Having apparently recovered from the collision, Williams briefly sat down on the pitch as play continued, leading Coleman to ready a substitute.
"I thought he was struggling because he couldn't move his arm," he said. "I was going to take him off - he said he was OK to continue so, of course, I trust my captain.
"We were right to keep him on. He still made some important interceptions."
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill felt Wales deliberately made the most of Williams' situation.
"I was disappointed with the time-wasting. The bench told Ashley Williams to sit down," he told BBC Sport.