LILLE, France — On the greatest night in its soccer history, Wales swept past the world’s No. 2-ranked team Friday at the European Championships.

Wales stormed back from a rough start to beat Belgium 3-1 in a pulsating quarterfinal won by classy goals from two unheralded forwards.

As usual, Gareth Bale was excellent and, of course, all the talk will be of him and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal before the teams meet in a semifinal next week.

The two most expensive players in soccer history. Real Madrid teammates. Stars on overachieving teams at Euro 2016.

Still, unlike Portugal, Wales and Bale have been wonderful and a truly refreshing surprise in reaching a first semifinal at a major tournament.

“We are so excited to be here. We have never been at this level,” said Wales Coach Chris Coleman, who took over a team ranked outside the top 100 four years ago. “You dream about nights like this. You’re never sure if you’re lucky enough to experience it and when you’re involved, you can’t describe it.”

After 25 minutes, the dream seemed far away against a fast-starting Belgium side that was playing almost a home game close to its border.

The ferocity of Belgium’s opening goal in the 13th minute, a shot by midfielder Radja Nainggolan rising into the net, did not bode well.

But Wales captain Ashley Williams hauled his team back into the game in the 30th when he stooped to head in a corner.

Then two forwards from second-tier clubs in England, Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes, settled the game with goals in the 55th and 85th minutes. In Robson-Kanu’s career-best moment, he deceived three defenders. He shaped as if to shoot, then suddenly dragged the ball back and swiveled into clear space, freeing him for a shot past goalie Thibaut Courtois.

“It’s instincts,” said Robson-Kanu, a free agent after letting his contract with English second-tier club Reading expire. “That was the best option to create the space and fortunately I am then in on goal. It’s a good feeling.”

Vokes came on as a substitute to meet Chris Gunter’s cross with a glancing header and spark wild celebrations.

“It was like playing in Brussels tonight,” said Coleman, who also led his side to an upset win over Belgium in their qualifying group last year.

“For the first 20, 25 minutes we dominated Wales,” Belgium coach Marc Wilmots said. “But then we dropped back and I can’t explain why.”

Games Saturday and Sunday will end the quarterfinals: Germany vs. Italy on Saturday and France vs. Iceland on Sunday.

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