Kieffer Moore secured a home World Cup qualifying play-off semi-final for Wales as Belgium were held to a 1-1 draw at Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday.
Robert Page’s side were already assured of a play-off spot, but they headed into the final Group E game desperate to be among the six top seeds.
Although Kevin De Bruyne put an under-strength Belgium – already assured of a place in the tournament in Qatar next year as group winners – in front, Moore equalised in the first half.
Neither side could fashion a winner, but Wales sealed second place and face a home play-off tie in March when they will hope to have captain Gareth Bale – absent here – back to full fitness.
De Bruyne silenced the Wales fans when he opened the scoring 12 minutes in, the stand-in captain finding the bottom-right corner with a measured finish after a poor attempted clearance from Chris Mepham.
Wales took that setback on the chin, capitalising on slack defending to equalise when Arthur Theate missed his kick as he tried to deal with Dan James’ cross and Moore finished clinically with his left foot 13 minutes before half-time.
Thorgan Hazard struck the post when he met a pinpoint De Bruyne corner with a sublime volley from just outside the penalty area as Belgium finished the first half strongly.
An unmarked Connor Roberts spurned a chance to put Wales in front when he sliced a long way wide after a James cross fell nicely for him early in the second half.
Dante Vanzeir came on to make his debut as Roberto Martinez made a triple substitution before the hour-mark.
Neco Williams almost won it when he cut in from the left and brought a fine save from Koen Casteels, but a point was enough for Wales to achieve their objective.
A play-off spot was already in the bag for Wales, but they capped an impressive qualifying campaign by finishing runners-up ahead of the Czech Republic and ensuring they will avoid the likes of European champions Italy and Portugal in the semi-finals.
The Dragons have only played in one World Cup, way back in 1958, but will be hoping a raucous Cardiff crowd can help them into a play-off final and then book a ticket to Qatar. They will face one of Austria, North Macedonia, Poland, Ukraine, Turkey or Czech Republic at the semi-final stage.
Belgium are now unbeaten in their past 28 World Cup qualifiers, this point secured without a whole host of key men such as Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois.
The powerful Moore delivered when Wales needed him on his home ground and led the line superbly. Since his international debut in September 2019, the Cardiff City striker has scored more goals in all competitions than any other Wales player with eight.
Theate was at fault for Moore’s goal, while Dedryck Boyata also looked shaky at the back. The 21-year-old lost possession 12 times and Boyata nine, with Timothy Castagne much more solid alongside them.