Wales sweat over skipper


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Wales are set for a nervous wait over the fitness of captain Ashley Williams after he suffered an injury to his shoulder in the last-16 victory over Northern Ireland.

Chris Coleman’s men secured progression to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 and will face either Belgium or Hungary after grinding out a result on Saturday. Wales, who are 19.00 to win Euro 2016 outright, and Northern Ireland were evenly matched for long periods of their clash in Paris at the Parc des Princes until a late own goal handed the Dragons the advantage with 75 minutes on the clock. Gareth Bale’s dangerous cross from the right flank caused issues in the box and Gareth McAuley ultimately turned the ball into his own net as he tried to prevent Hal Robson-Kanu from stealing in to win it at the far post. However, it was not all good news for Wales as centre-back Williams had to struggle through the last 10 minutes with his left arm almost motionless. The Swansea man was involved in a collision with his own team-mate Jonny Williams and pictures after the match showed the defender wearing a sling to support the injury. Coleman was preparing to replace Williams with James Collins in the final stages but the skipper wanted to play through the pain barrier and saw out the game. The Wales boss believes he was right to keep his captain on the field and insists the next two days will be key to his recovery. Coleman said: “He’s a bit tender with his shoulder and the next 24 or 48 hours will be crucial. “We have to see whether it’s bruising, just an impact, or whether – hopefully not – there’s damage to any ligaments or a tear in the muscle. “I thought he was struggling because he couldn’t move his arm. There were only a few minutes left and I was going to take him off. “We had James Collins there ready, but Ash said he was okay to continue and I trust my captain . “We we were right to keep him on the pitch because he still made some important interceptions and his presence for us is huge.”

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