Wales at Euro 2016
No matter what team you support or what country you are from, there is no denying that Wales achieved so much at the Euro 2016 tournament in France.
With a great start against Slovakia (2-1 victory) we followed that up with a dramatic game against the old enemy, England. Gareth Bale had Wales jumping for joy when he scored direct from a free-kick to put Wales 1-0, but then Jamie Vardy bundled in the equaliser and Daniel Sturbridge scored in injury time to break welsh hearts. After this game we picked ourselves up and demolished Russia 3-0 with goals from Ramsey, Taylor and Bale.
Suddenly, the experts were all talking about Wales, we made it out of the group stage!
Next up was a 'home international' against Northern Ireland, many of the players knew each other and we had similar styles and young managers that had done extremely well with their squads. This was a tight game, a nail-biter, not the most memorable game either, but fortunately for us, Gareth McAuley turn in an own goals for Northern Ireland, Wales win 1-0 and onward we go to the quarter finals. The scenes in Cardiff were unreal, with sounds of "don't take me home" ringing around every corner!
In the quarter finals we faced Belgium, a team we had played in the qualifying stages and had beaten 1-0 and drawn 0-0, so there was nothing to be afraid of, even though they were ranked 2nd in the World.
What a night the fans had in Lille, totally unexpected but fully deserved. Wales won 3-1. Disappointingly we conceded the first goal, but after that we never looked back. Our captain, Ashely Williams, scored the equaliser with a great header from a corner, 1-1 at half time. What happened in the second half will never be forgotten, Hal Robson-Kanu with the ball between his legs, spun on the spot, leaving 3 defenders in his wake and slotted the ball passed the Courtois the Belgium goalkeeper, a goal that was later to be voted "goal of the tournament". 2-1 against Belgium, we could do this, we could do this!!!!
The game was edging nearer and nearer the final whistle with welsh fans hoping to hang on a slender lead, when up popped Sam Vokes with a header, glanced it passed Courtois, from a Ramsey cross to seal the victory 3-1 to Wales - and we were in the semi-final - we were in dreamland!!!
Wales vs Portugal was the biggest footballing match in Welsh history, but alas it was a step too far. Ronaldo and his crew beat us 2-0 on the night and that was good night Wales. The team returned home as heroes with a welcoming party held at the Cardiff City Stadium celebrating our success.
To commemorate our success in France 2016, I created iconic images of the goal scorers from our winning games. I have immortalised Gareth Bale, Hal Robson-Kanu, Aaron Ramsey, Neil Taylor, Ashley Williams, & Sam Vokes's goal celebrations by transforming hi-resolution images that were taken of the celebrations and artistically reworking the images, using Adobe Photoshop, to create a cartoon-like display. Adding the players surname and time of the goal created a nice feature. I mounted the images in a 3 image frame and hung them proudly on the wall in my "man cave".