Chris Coleman and Wales national teamOn 19 January 2012, Coleman was appointed team manager of the Wales national team, as successor to his friend Gary Speed, who had died the previous November. After letting his assistant Osian Roberts take charge in Speed's memorial match against Costa Rica in February, his first game in charge was a 2–0 defeat against Mexico at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on 27 May; Gareth Bale and Joe Ledley both missed the game through injury, but Craig Bellamy appeared, having previously made a decision to retire from international football.
Wales' first match in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification was on 7 September at home to Belgium, with centre back James Collins sent off for a late lunge on Guillaume Gillet in the 25th minute of an eventual 0–2 loss. Four days later in Novi Sad, the team lost 6–1 to Serbia; Coleman said in October 2015 that he considered leaving his post after the defeat. After becoming the first Welsh manager to lose his first five games, Coleman got his first win on 12 October 2012, a 2–1 victory against Scotland from two Bale goals.
On 26 March 2013, in a qualifier against Croatia at the Liberty Stadium, Wales led 1–0 for the majority of the game through a Bale penalty, but two late goals from the opponents ended any hopes of qualification. On 10 October 2015, Wales' qualification for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament was confirmed meaning that Coleman had led Wales to their first tournament qualification since 1958.
On 23 May 2016, it was announced at a Football Association of Wales press conference that Coleman has signed a two-year contract extension to take in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.