Liechtenstein U21 1-3 Wales U21
Wales U21 climbed to second in their Euro qualification with this 3-1 in Liechtenstein - but focus has already shifted to the bigger challenges ahead.
Robert Page’s men were forced to earn their 3-1 win at the Eschen-Mauren Sportpark, where George Thomas’ brace was ultimately the difference between the two teams.
Moments after the final whistle, the Leicester City striker said: “I’m absolutely delighted. Any goal in international football gives me great pleasure but hopefully I can get more now.
“We've had three tough away games to kick this campaign off, so we're very happy with six points but now it's vital that we get six points from the two home games next month.”
Bangor City will host the crunch November double-header against Bosnia and Romania, which will be pivotal to Wales’ chances of qualifying for the 2019 tournament in Italy and San Marino.
Their patience and resilience were tested against a resolute Liechtenstein and the emotion was more relief than joy when the deadlock was eventually broken on 24 minutes with a deft Thomas header.
Then winthin minutes, the striker doubled the lead from the penalty spot and it all looked straight forward for Wales.
Then, when Matthew Smith made it three early in the second half, a rout looked likely.
But the hosts had other ideas and when powerful frontman Ridvan Kardesoglu pulled one back on the hour, it was game on again.
And, with 10 minutes to go, Wales were wobbling, as the Gibraltarian referee awarded the hosts a free kick on the edge of the box.
But Wales survived and safely saw out a vital victory, with their Group 8 rivals all playing each other this week.
Delighted Wales boss Page said: “The most important thing was the first goal.
“That was the key to unlock the door. It opened the game up and gave us some space to attack.
“Six points out of a potential nine is a great start and it sets us up nicely for the two home games in November.
“It's a good result but there's more to come from this group and that's exciting for them.”
Liechtenstein 1-3 Wales
Kardesoglu 57 - Thomas 24 & 31 (pen), Smith 52
Wales: Pilling, Coxe, Abbruzzese, Poole, Rodon, Harries, Thomas, Smith (Evans 85), Roberts, Broadhead (Harris 74), Morrell (Matondo 85)
Liechtenstein: Majer, Mikus, Seerman (Vogt 82), Hofer, Quaderer, Sele, Wolfinger (Eidenbenz 78), Ritter, Kardesoglu (Kratochwil 89), Meier, Haas