Cymru started their #U19EURO qualifying round with a convincing 3-0 against Poland in Rodney Parade, Newport.
Cymru 3-0 Poland
#U19EURO Qualifying Round
- Scorers: J Adams, S Pearson, K Patten
Rob Edwards’ side started the match under pressure from the visitors. Polish skipper Michal Karbownik and left wing forward Bartosz Bialek penetrating space on the left-hand side, but a back line containing captain Morgan Boyes, Ryan Astley and Cameron Evans dealt with the incoming deliveries.
After twenty minutes Cymru settled into the game and managed to create chances of their own, with Keenan Patten coming close from a corner. The youngsters also had to defend in numbers as Bialek and striker Javier Hyek came close to scoring on a few occasions.
The first goal of the opening half arrived in the 23rd minute as Cymru’s pressure was rewarded. Making his U19 debut, full-back Iestyn Hughes’ low driven cross was calmly finished into the bottom right corner by Joe Adams.
Cymru continued to dominate the game and were rewarded with a second goal in the 37th minute. A magic run from Adams saw him beat two defenders and an accurate cross into the back post allowed Sam Pearson to head home.
Poland weren’t without their chances as an effort from centre back Bartlomiej Mruk saved by Wales keeper Lewis Webb to his left-hand side before the end of the half.
The visitors were responsive early in the second half as Webb was forced to make two great saves from shots by striker Bialek.
Edwards’ side added their third in the 52nd minute. Iestyn Hughes skilfully beat two defenders and impressive link up play allowed for Keenan Pattern to score Cymru’s third goal.
Poland continued to go forward but struggled to get past a strong Cymru defence as striker Josh Thomas was unlucky not to make it four, seeing a dinked effort cleared off the line.
Cymru sit on top of the group and will face top seeds Russia at Leckwith Stadium on Saturday (13:00 KO). The match is free, ticketless entry.
Cymru XI: 1. Lewis Webb, 2. Neco Williams (3. Luca Hoole 85’), 4. Sam Bowen (8. Scott Smith 71’) 5. Ryan Astley, 6. Morgan Boyes, 7. Sam Pearson (9. Christian Norton 60’) 10. Keenan Patten, 11. Joe Adams (20. Josh Thomas 72’), 15. Cameron Evans, 16. Iestyn Hughes, 19. Isaak Davies (14. Harry Pinchard 46’)
Subs not used: 12. Daniel Barden, 13. Joseph Low, 17. Daniel Griffiths
Goals: Adams 23’, Pearson 37’ Pattern 53’
Yellow cards: Astley 8’, Evans 28’, Bowen 62’, Pattern 66’