Euro 2016: Gareth Bale relishing riding Wales' wave

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport
Wales v Belgium
Date: Friday, 1 July Venue: Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Coverage: Live BBC One, BBC Radio Wales and text commentary online & BBC Sport app

Gareth Bale says Wales are "riding a wave" after securing their place in the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.

Bale, 26, set up the winning goal as Wales edged past Northern Ireland in Saturday's last-16 tie in Paris.

Friday's quarter-final - only Wales' second at a major tournament - will be against Belgium, who beat Hungary 4-0.

"Similar to qualifying, get one win and the confidence grows. We just want to ride the wave," said Bale.

"We know we've had difficult games but we've battled [against Northern Ireland], shown our team spirit and passion."

Wales are unbeaten in their past three meetings with Belgium and claimed a notable 1-0 victory against Marc Wilmots' side in a Euro 2016 qualifier in Cardiff in June last year.

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'Emotional' family celebrations

Wales were made to toil for their second-round win at Parc des Princes by an obdurate Northern Ireland team, who defended stubbornly and had most of the rare chances in a tight encounter.

There was an outpouring of joy and relief on the Welsh bench at the final whistle, and the players were joined by their children as they celebrated on the pitch.

Williams collides with Williams in Wales win

Bale's three-year-old daughter Alba was one of the first to scamper on to the field, and she was embraced by her ecstatic father as he revelled in Wales' first win in the knockout stages of a major tournament.

"The feeling after was difficult to describe, very happy, very emotional," said Bale.

"To be able to share it with my daughter and my family was emotional for me.

"I haven't seen them for four or five weeks.

"An amazing experience that I will never forget. Our ambition is to keep fighting on and win every game we play."

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