Goals from Andre Horta and Joao Felix in either half earned Portugal a 2-0 victory over Wales in their latest UEFA U21 qualifier, despite the visitors ending the match with 10-men following the second half dismissal of defender Yuri Ribeiro.
WALES 0-2 PORTUGAL (U21)
2019 UEFA U21 European Championship Qualifier
- Tuesday 11 September
- VSM Stadium, Bangor
- Scorers: Andre Horta (35'), Joao Felix (73')
Manager Rob Page made two changes to his starting line-up from the team that defeated Liechtenstein on Friday as Brandon Cooper and Nathan Broadhead replaced Mark Thomas and Connor Evans. A crowd of 625 at the VSM Bangor City Stadium welcomed the two teams for what was an important game in the qualifying group, with the visitors holding a three point lead over Wales heading into the match.
Portugal won the corresponding fixture 2-0 in Chaves last September, and enjoyed the better of the possession in the early stages without really testing Luke Pilling in the Wales goal. However, Joe Morrell came close to putting Wales ahead inside the opening five minutes, but his close range effort narrowly went the wrong side of the post.
George Thomas scored twice against Leichtenstein, and called Portuguese keeper Joel Pereira into action on 10 minutes with a fine strike. Wales were visibly lifted by their early opportunities, but the visitors quickly settled back into the match, and Andre Horta opened the scoring on 35 minutes with a superb long range effort that gave Pilling no chance.
Portugal were reduced to 10-men just before the hour mark as referee Mykola Balakin showed a second yellow card to Yuri Ribeiro following a late tackle on the impressive Daniel James. The extra man advantage provided Wales with their best spell of the match, and the introduction of Rabbi Matondo offered another dimension to the attack.
Despite creating a string of chances, Wales were left frustrated when Joao Felix fired the decisive second goal from the edge of the area after 73 minutes. The second goal took away any momentum that Wales had built up in the second half, but the young side continued to push for a consolation, with Matondo and James both testing goalkeeper Pereira before the final whistle.
Wales: 1 L Pilling, 2 C Coxe, 3 R Norrington-Davies, 13 B Cooper, 6 C Harries, 4 A Baker (16 A Babos 79'), 5 R Poole, 7 D James, 8 J Morrell (9 C Evans 74'), 10, G Thomas, 15 N Broadhead (11 R Matondo 56')
Yellow Cards: 13 B Cooper 41', 2 C Coxe 78', 6 C Harries 91'