Wales 3, Belgium 1: What We Learned From Thrilling Euro 2016 Comeback Win

Wales' Gareth Bale celebrates at the end of the game. Darren Staples/Reuters

First-timers they may be, but Wales produced a performance worthy of seasoned veterans to secure a place in the European Championships semifinal.

Chris Coleman's side came from behind to beat Belgium, ranked second best football nation in the world by FIFA, to become the first debutant to reach the last four since Sweden in 1992.

It was magnificent from the so-called minnows whose achievement can only be matched by Iceland, should they knock the hosts out of the tournament on Sunday.

Wales or Portugal will be in the final on July 10. But the subplot of Gareth Bale vs Cristiano Ronaldo comes before then.

Here, Newsweek looks at what we learnt from this outstanding Welsh performance:

Come and Get Me

Hal Robson-Kanu went into this tournament as a free agent. There certainly won't be any mad dashing around in search of a club before the start of next season.

The Welshman was a star in Reading's FA Cup challenge in the last campaign but has his sights set on the Premier League. And his goal in the 55th minute was worthy of the top tier.

Robson-Kanu took the ball down in the area, fainted a lay-off, before producing a brilliant Cruyff turn that sent three Belgian defenders the wrong way, and then slotted past Thibaut Courtois.

A moment of sheer brilliance.

Belgium's Failing Generation

Just as with England in the mid-noughties, the "Golden Generation" tag has been a heavy burden for the Belgians to carry.

The collective talent of Courtois, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku hasn't succeeded. The system simply hasn't worked; the Devils rely on individual talent.

Defeat may see the end of Marc Wilmots' reign as Belgium coach, and the nation will be in need of a man who can turn these stars into a team.

Dragons Dominate

It would have made for frustrating viewing for any England fans.

Wales, playing at the dizzy heights of the European Champions quarterfinal, was expected to wilt away when Radja Nainggolan's 12th-minute thunderous strike went in.

But the dragon was far from slayed. Wales played to a standard most have never seen before, dominating possession, penetrating the Belgian defense, and creating chances.

Ashley Williams scored the second and Sam Vokes added a third with five minutes remaining to see the turnaround complete. It was fully deserved.

Where the English disappeared, the Welsh stood up.

Devils Missing Absentees

The three men Wilmots desperately needed playing at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy were sat in the stands.

Injuries have left Vincent Kompany and Jan Vertonghen sidelined, while Thomas Vermaelen watched on as he served his suspension.

Had any of the trio been on the pitch, Williams' chances of scoring his 30th minute equalizer would have been significantly reduced.

Williams lost center-back Jason Denayer to head in, and almost did so again three minutes before half-time. It was shambolic defending.

Welsh fans cheer the second goal scored by Wales, during Wales' 3-1 Euro 2016 victory over Belgium. Rebecca Naden/Reuters

Only Conte Compares

"I said we are not here just to enjoy it, we are here to compete. We have something to offer," Coleman said after the match. Wales had more than something to offer.

The unity of the side has been created by Coleman and he has instilled a discipline into his team that has propelled them into Europe's elite in France.

Coleman's side was compact and unbreakable, frustrating Belgium's stars.

Antonio Conte has received the plaudits in France for coaching an under strength Italian side to knock out the holders Spain in the last 16.

But Coleman's side is the first to advance. It's Conte's turn on Saturday as Italy faces Germany.