Wales grabbed a dramatic point against Belgium in the Nations League at Cardiff City Stadium thanks to Brennan Johnson’s first international goal.
Early on, Ethan Ampadu thought he had given Wales the lead with a shot into the top corner, but VAR spotted an offside in the build-up.
Belgium had a number of chances in the first half, but finally broke the deadlock when Youri Tielemans’ clinical strike into the bottom right corner beat Wayne Hennessey, who had returned to the game.
Rob Page looked for a spark on his bench and found it in Johnson and Rubin Colwill, who breathed fresh life into Wales.
After a magnificent pass from Aaron Ramsey, the Nottingham Forest winger calmly rolled home Wales’ equalizer with five minutes remaining.
The goal was first declared offside by the linesman, but VAR ruled in Wales’ favor this time, as Johnson was determined to be just onside.
The match helped Wales to earn its first point in the Nations League’s top flight, following defeats to Poland and the Netherlands.
Wales had the brightest start, and after five minutes, they thought they had seized the lead.
Ampadu smashed the ball into the top corner after Neco Williams’ pass to Joe Rodon landed to him on the edge of the area, only for VAR to properly rule the goal out for offside.
Belgium threatened next, with Leicester City midfielder Tielemans arriving late after good work from Thomas Meunier and Michy Batshuayi, but Hennessey saved the shot.
The game’s frenetic pace continued, with Gareth Bale the next to come close, turning Dan James’ low cross just beyond Koen Casteels’ post.
After Kevin de Bruyne’s cross soared over everyone, Yannick Carrasco tested Hennessey with a first-time shot at the back post after the speed had slowed.
Minutes later, Tielemans played the Atletico Madrid winger in behind the Welsh defense, only for Ben Davies to recover and make a critical block.
At the other end, Connor Roberts nodded Joe Allen’s cross home at the near post, the midfielder’s final touch of the game as he walked slowly down the tunnel to be replaced by Ramsey.
Burnley’s Full-back Roberts had Wales’ greatest chance of the first half. Meunier’s attempted clearing ricocheted off his own player’s head and straight to Roberts eight yards from goal in the centre of the box, but he never got full control and struck wide of the left upright.
Belgium should have gone into the interval with a lead, but Leandro Trossard squandered a chance that the entire stadium was expecting him to score.
De Bruyne found a massive pocket of space in midfield to drive into the Welsh half and release Batshuayi into the 18-yard box, but Davies was there to stop the opening effort, as is becoming a regular theme in Welsh football encounters.
The rebound, however, rebounded across the box to an unmarked Trossard, who had the entire goal to aim for but hit the left post with his shot.
De Bruyne had the final chance of the half, but Hennessey got down smartly to turn the ball around his near post after he caught everyone off guard with a long-range effort.
The warning signs were there in the first half, and the visitors scored after the interval in just five minutes, exactly like they did against the Netherlands on Wednesday.
The introduction of Johnson, a winger from Nottingham Forest, in place of Gareth Bale gave the Welsh assault a boost, and the winger almost set up Ramsey for a tap-in, but his cross was turned behind for a corner.
With six minutes remaining, Wales almost equalized when Ramsey’s free-kick was perfectly floated for Joe Rodon, but the stooping Spurs defender could only head over.
VAR appeared to be able to reject Wales’ goal for the second time in less than a minute.
In the centre of the field, Neco Williams and Colwill collaborated nicely before the Liverpool winger sent a through ball to Ramsey.
Ramsey appeared to have lost possession, but he back-heeled the ball to Johnson, who neatly curled it in at the far post, a goal that was upheld after a lengthy VAR review.
Unlike their match against the Netherlands on Wednesday night, Wales hung on to earn their first point in the Nations League’s top flight.
SAT 11 JUN 2022 UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE
Match Result: Wales 1:1 Belgium