Victory Shield: Wales held by Republic of Ireland
25 October 2017

Victory Shield: Wales held by Republic of Ireland

Unbeaten Wales U16 suffered late heartbreak against Republic of Ireland but can still win the 2017 Victory Shield.

A 2-2 draw against the holders means Osian Roberts’ boys now need a favour from Scotland on Friday’s final day, before facing hosts Northern Ireland.

Just seconds from the final whistle at Bangor FC’s Clandeboye Park, Wales led 2-1 and were in control of the tournament, having drawn 1-1 with Scotland on Monday.

But the Republic snatched it out of Wales’ hands by capitalising on a late lapse in concentration and sealing a dramatic draw.

In their efforts to close the game out, Wales failed to deal with a deep free-kick and gifted substitute Armstrong Oko-Flex an equaliser, which cancelled out Jack Madeline and Luc Noble’s goals, either side of a Matt Everitt strike.

Now Wales have to do it the hard way, by beating a Northern Ireland team who’ll fancy their own chances of taking the trophy, should winless Scotland spring a shock against the Republic.

They saw off Scotland 2-1 in Belfast, leaving the trophy totally up-for-grabs ahead of Friday’s finale.

Moments after the disappointing draw, Wales coach Roberts said: “It was a harsh lesson but we've got to stick together and build for Friday.

“We need to learn from this, so we get to experience the joy of coming off having won a hard-fought game, which we deserve.

“We'll give it everything we've got on Friday and if it goes our way, we can still win it.”

Wales: Robson, Francombe, Madeline, Noble (C), Hughes, King, Rickard, Higgins, Beck, King-Harmes, Thomas.

Republic of Ireland: Halwax, Agberhiere, Kelly, Keogh (C), McKinley, Everitt, Healy, Ogbungo, Farrell, Obosele, Giurgi.