Belgium 1 Wales 1: Late draw the perfect send-off for retired Dragons striker Craig Bellamy says manager Chris Coleman
Aaron Ramsey struck a late equaliser to give Wales an impressive draw and boost Coleman's own chances of keeping his job
Wednesday 16 October 2013
Chris Coleman felt Craig Bellamy had enjoyed a perfect send-off after the veteran forward's final telling contribution in a Wales shirt helped earn the injury-hit Dragons a superb 1-1 draw in Belgium.
Aaron Ramsey struck a late equaliser to stun the Group A winners in Brussels and boost manager Coleman's hopes of keeping his job.
Wales had shown brave resistance, with keeper Wayne Hennessey making a string of sharp saves, but they looked to be subsiding to a seventh defeat of the campaign when Kevin De Bruyne seized on an error from debutant James Wilson to fire Belgium ahead.
Skipper Ramsey was then picked out by Bellamy, on his 78th and last Wales appearance, and slid the ball under Thibaut Courtois to earn the visitors a hard-earned point.
And Coleman was full of praise for the pair's contribution.
He said: "It was an ideal way for Craig to sign off.
"That's twice in four days he has played that last pass for us to score a goal and I am pleased for Aaron too, his contribution to this camp has been immense.
"You always look at Aaron even when we are at full strength because of the quality he has got. With all the players we were missing there was even more pressure on him and he stepped up to the plate and was absolutely fantastic."
The draw at the King Baudouin Stadium may prove to be Coleman's last competitive game in charge of Wales, with his contract effectively up after next month's friendly against Finland and talks of a new deal having stalled.
He has certainly given Football Association of Wales chiefs plenty of food for thought by beating Macedonia and earning a point in Belgium with a squad ravaged by injury and missing the likes of Gareth Bale, Joe Allen and Ashley Williams.
But Scotland's win over Croatia means Wales finish a lowly fifth in Group A, and the FAW will have to decide whether some fleeting moments of promise merit another chance for the 43-year-old.
But Coleman says there will be no resolution until after the November meeting with the Finns in Cardiff.
He said: "If I had lost these two games, I wouldn't have been expecting to have been told I wasn't the man to take us forward.
"Equally, two great results does not mean I expect to be told I am the man to take us forward.
"I'm the same manager as I was last month. I never plan differently but, ultimately, it's about results.
"My contract ends in November and we have a friendly against Finland next month and we will talk about it then."
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