Cheat sheet: It wasn't pretty but Wales booked their Euro 2016 quarter-finals place


Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley's own goal was the decisive moment in a low-quality match as Wales booked their place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.

Gareth Bale was largely anonymous throughout but it was his cross that prompted the unlucky McAuley to turn the ball into his own net after 75 minutes.

Here's how the game played out...

Key moments

Hal Robson Kanu celebrates Wales' winner
(Francois Mori/AP/PA)

1. Aaron Ramsey offside (19 minutes).
About the only talking point of a forgettable first half was whether Ramsey denied Wales a goal by playing the ball from an offside position. Sam Vokes' towering header might or might not have been sneaking in - we'll never know because Ramsey tucked it into the net from an offside position.

2. Vokes heads wide (52 minutes). There was no doubt this Vokes header was missing. The big striker got behind the defence and Ramsey perfectly picked him out with a lofted pass. The problem was he headed wide. It was still easily the best moment of the first hour.

3. Gareth McAuley own goal (75 minutes).
In a game shy on quality the stage was set for the best player on the pitch to make the difference. After being shackled for the majority Bale found a bit of space out on the left and fizzed in a cross that McAuley had to try and deal with as Hal Robson-Kanu lurked.

Was it the right result?

In a match short on quality it is hard to say that either side deserved to win. The fact the match was decided by an own goal was probably fitting, although if we're being fair it was the quality of Bale's cross that prompted McAuley to turn the ball into his own net.

Who played well?

Wales' James Chester (left) and Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty
(Jonathan Brady/PA)

Wales full-back James Chester was as solid as a rock in a game made for defenders. His best moment was when he was caught out one-on-one backtracking against the bigger Kyle Lafferty but expertly kept his composure and won the ball in the area before clearing the danger.

Tactics check

Northern Ireland effectively frustrated Wales' star names, once again proving that manager Michael O'Neill is an astute tactician, but after going behind late on they couldn't find another gear to threaten an equaliser. Northern Ireland fans might be hoping rather than expecting their boss will stay on.

Key stat

Northern Ireland's Will Grigg sits on the bench
(Petr David Josek/AP/PA)

Will Grigg didn't play a minute of the tournament. The striker had more songs sung about him than minutes played, which has got to be the best stat of the tournament. The rest of Europe is probably wondering what all the fuss is about.

Political tweet

Someone was going to do it. Turns out it was David Ginola whose political ambitions saw him run for FIFA president last year with the backing of Irish bookmaker Paddy Power.

Best fans

The Irish fans have won over plenty of admirers during the tournament and they furthered that reputation after the whistle as they stayed on with the Wales supporters singing the Will Grigg's On Fire song. They will be welcomed back to their next major tournament, let's hope it's not too far away.

What's next?

Wales' Gareth Bale celebrates with daughter Alba Violet on the pitch
(Martin Rickett/PA)

Wales will play Belgium or Hungary next in the tournament. They won't say it but every Wales player will be a Hungary fan tomorrow. Belgium are the shortest-priced favourites to reach the final and are packed full of world-class names. If Wales can avoid - or even beat them - then suddenly there's every chance they could walk out at the Stade de France on July 10.