However, after Belgium’s 1-0 win in Cyprus later on Sunday, Wales require just one point from their final two qualifiers next month, away to Bosnia-Herzegovina and at home to minnows Andorra, to clinch their place in France.
Wales’ qualification ambitions might have been smothered by Israel’s defensive blanket but Chris Coleman’s side remain a sure-fire bet to make what would be the nation’s first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup.
Israel made two changes at the break with the introduction of Tal Ben Haim Junior and Tomer Hemed suggesting a more adventurous approach from the visitors but Wales were still the dominant force.
“For the Welsh supporters waiting for us to get back home, get excited”.
“We’ve never done it so I’m guessing it’s going to be hard”, said Bale after Wales stayed top of Group B, with 17 points from seven games.
“It’s a point closer and if Israel had beaten us tonight it’s a different ball game”.
Wales nearly profited from some defensive confusion, but King was unable to reach a loose ball with Marciano stranded off his line.
A victory over Israel on Sunday would have guaranteed Wales an automatic spot at next year’s European Championship, but the match finished 0-0 in Cardiff.
“Whether he starts or not is another question but hopefully if he comes through training then he’ll definitely be in the squad”, said Wales manager Chris Coleman.
“But I don’t expect Cyprus to do us any favours, it’ll be a tough game for them”.
Wales beat Cyprus away from home on Thursday but couldn’t finish the job on their own patch against a stubborn Israel side.
“We knew that if they beat us they will be relaxed in the match in Bosnia, but now they will need to go there and get a point”.
Israel – third in the standings – kept up the pressure on Belgium courtesy of a 4-0 rout against lowly Andorra. We’re used to being the ones that do that to other teams.
“By hook or by crook, it doesn’t matter if we’re exhausted physically or mentally, we’ve got to get ourselves ready for another huge game”.
While David Edwards (another stand-out performer) was unlucky to see his effort ruled out for an infringement by Hal Robson-Kanu, Neil Taylor will no doubt be ruing his missed opportunity after Cypriot keeper Georgallidis spilled a Gareth Bale free-kick, Taylor scuffing the rebound into the path of the keeper.
“Together Stronger” is the Wales team motto for this campaign and this sense of unity came across more forcefully than ever in a stirring rendition of the Welsh anthem, Land Of Our Fathers, before kick-off.