Wales U21 were held to a 0-0 draw at Bangor City against Romania, but it was a performance full of positives and great football from Rob Page’s team, who were unlucky not to get all three points.
Wales 0-0 Romania
UEFA UNDER 21 CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER
- Tuesday, 14 November 2017
- VSM Bangor City FC Stadium, Bangor
- Free download: Wales U21 Match Programme
Wales started the match brightly, pressing up the pitch, looking to get on the front foot and win second balls. It was that enthusiasm and desire to get on the ball that saw Tyler Roberts cause a bit of chaos early-on as his physicality and finesse saw two defender marking him receive bookings inside the first ten minutes.
Harry Wilson produced the biggest chance for Wales in the opening phases of the game as he went on a trademark run from deep, beating three defenders before finding himself one-on-one with Ionut Radu in goal, but the goalkeeper did very well to save Wilson’s strike.
Rob Page’s organised and disciplined side caused big problems for Romania when the visitors were in possession, as Wales maintained their shape very well and were happy to wait for their opponents to make mistakes, which they did do, before the home side would then counter at speed and look to get the opening goal.
The only efforts of note from Romania in the opening 20 minutes were speculative shots from distance – none of which were on target – but Dragos Nedelcu did get one on target eventually, with a venomous effort that Luke Pilling did very well to palm over the bar.
Florinel Coman caused some problems for the home side in the first half as he proved a tricky task to contain down the left, but Pilling did excellently on both occasions where the winger broke through to produce big saves or pressure the forward into missing.
Coming out for the second half, Wales continued to press the ball well and forced the visitors into mistakes and turnovers deep in Romania’s half, but the chances just weren’t quite falling for them.
The visitors struggled to cope with Wales’ pace on the ball. It was a counter-attack led by right-back Cameron Coxe that provided the biggest chance at that point of the match to open the scoring as he stormed down the right and sent in an early cross which completely caught Radu off guard and had the keeper beaten, but unfortunately the crossbar came to his rescue and the ball trickled out.
George Thomas’ excellent pressing won Wales a corner after 50 minutes, which was delivered powerfully into the path of Mark Harris, but Radu made a stunning save to keep the scores level.
Wilson went close again soon afterwards, as he started a move from deep in midfield, spraying the ball out to Harris who broke down the left and sent a low cross back into the box that bounced awkwardly upon arriving back at Wilson’s feet and he could only fire wide.
Romania then imploded somewhat, as two quick red cards meant they were soon down to nine men, and Wales turned up the pressure even more to try and force through that opening goal, with Thomas coming very close to breaking the deadlock from eight yards out, but Radu saved again and fulltime came with the score locked at 0-0.