Rob Edwards' Cymru U19s kept their place on top of their UEFA #U19EURO qualifying round group after a 2-2 draw against top seeds Russia at Leckwith, Cardiff.
Russia 2-2 Cymru
#U19EURO Qualifying Round
- Scorers: N Williams x2
Russia came close to taking the lead early on as Edgar Sevikyan deflected shot from close range fell into the path of Kirill Kosarev but Lewis Webb was on hand to instinctively tip the ball over the bar. Kosarev was sent clear again minutes later but was again defied by Webb in the Cymru goal to deny the visitors once again.
Russia took the lead on the half-hour mark as the ball fell kindly for Kosarev who fired in from close range. This time he made no mistake and finally got the better of Webb.
A clash of heads between Kosarev and Webb resulted in a lengthy break in play. Webb eventually had to be substituted with Daniel Barden coming on.
Sam Pearson was was a bright spark for Cymru at the end of the first half but no player in a red shirt could get on the end of his cross after a great run through the Russian defence.
Cymru picked up where they left off in the second half and came close to levelling the score with Pearson but his effort was well held by Budachev after some great work by Joe Adams.
On the 65th minute Cymru were awarded a penalty which Neco Williams fired into the top corner to level the score.
Edwards’ side were a lot more composed in the second half with Patten and Bowen controlling the midfield well. The back three of Evans, Astley and Boyes remained resolute.
Pearson was brought down in the box on the 81st minute which resulted in a second penalty for Cymru. Williams this time fired into the bottom left corner to give Cymru the lead. However, celebrations were short lived as Russia soon levelled the score. Danila Prokhin with the goal.
Frantic attacks from Cymru then followed with Edwards’ desperate to reclaim their lead. Patten came close with a long range shot.
The game ended 2-2 which meant that Cymru retained their place at the top of the group. A draw against Kosovo on Tuesday at Rodney Parade will guarantee qualification to the elite round.
Cymru XI: 1. Lewis Webb (12. Daniel Barden 39’) 2. Neco Williams 4. Sam Bowen (8. Scott Smith). 5 Ryan Astley 6. Morgan Boyes (C) 7. Sam Pearson (17. Daniel Griffiths) 9. Christian Norton (19. Isaak Davies) 10. Keenan Patten 11. Joe Adams 15. Cameron Evans 16. Iestyn Hughes (14 Harry Pinchard 46’)
Subs not used: 3. Luca Hoole. 13. Joseph Low. 18. Rhys Hughes. 20. Josh Thomas
Yellow Cards: Hughes 24’, Adams 90+1’, Patten 90+2’