Cymru closed out their UEFA U21 European Championship Qualification with an emphatic victory at Parc y Scarlets.
Cymru 2-0 Gibraltar
UEFA U21 CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER
- Tuesday, 14 June 2022
- Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli
An early goal by Joe Adams followed by a second half Oliver Hammond strike gave Paul Bodin’s side an impressive victory in their final UEFA U21 European Championship Qualification campaign tie.
The three points mean Cymru jumped above Bulgaria into fourth place in their qualifying group.
It took Cymru only 30 seconds to take the lead as intricate play between Rhys Hughes and Fin Stevens on the right-hand side saw Stevens find Adams free at the back post before the midfielder found the net with an impressive left-footed volley.
Cymru maintained pressure as Stevens played a ball through to Sam Pearson, whose ball into the box, aimed at Luke Jephcott, was met by Gibraltar goalkeeper Jaylan Hankins. Jephcott went to ground claiming for a penalty, although the referee waved play on.
Hughes had a golden opportunity to double the lead as an Owen Beck cross found Hughes in the box, but his strike was saved fantastically by Hankins.
He then provided a dangerous ball across the face of goal, however it was unable to be turned in by Jephcott.
Gibraltar were next to come forward as Ayoub El Hmidi tried his luck from range, but his attempt was blocked by James Connolly.
Stevens and Pearson continued to find space on the right-hand side. Pearson provided another ball across the face of goal which was inches away from being met by Jephcott.
Hughes came close once again as his curling attempt from the left flew narrowly wide of the far post.
A crafted ball over the top by Eli King found Pearson free in the area, but his chipped effort was just too high and went out for a goal-kick.
Pearson then found space once again on the right-hand side, finding Adams at the back post with a low cross. Adams’ stretched effort went over the crossbar.
Hughes ruffled the side netting with a free kick from range early into the second half before a powerful Ryan Astley header found Jephcott through on goal. He forced a superb double save from the goalkeeper.
Cymru then doubled their lead through Hammond as Adams turned from goal scorer to provider, finding Hammond free in the box. Hammond finished with composure on his right foot.
Adams then provided another dangerous cross, this time met by Jephcott. The striker’s flicked-on header was denied by the post.
Pearson continued to cause problems on Gibraltar’s left, with his cross nearly being turned in by Ethan Llambias, who put the ball over his own goal.
Hughes was next to provide a cross from the right. This time, Jephcott was found at the near post but was unable to turn his attempt on target.
Cymru came close to finding their third again as substitute Luca Hoole found the head of Jephcott with a cross from the right before the latter headed wide.
Liverpool fullback Beck showcased his skillset late on with a mazy run into the box from the left before firing an effort towards the bottom corner which was denied by Hankins.
The victory means Cymru end their UEFA U21 European Championship Qualification campaign with three wins, two draws and five losses.
CYMRU XI: Lewis Webb, Fin Stevens (Luca Hoole 75’), Owen Beck, Ryan Astley (C), Sam Pearson (Patrick Jones 68’), Eli King (Chris Popov 68’), Luke Jephcott, Rhys Hughes, James Connolly, Oli Hammond (Thomas Sparrow 75’), Joe Adams (Zachary Ashworth 81’).
MANAGER: Paul Bodin.
GOALS: Joe Adams (1’), Oli Hammond (53’).
YELLOW CARDS: None.
RED CARDS: None.
GIBRALTAR XI: Jaylan Hankins (C), Luke Bautista, Ethan Llambias, James Parkinson, Adam Gracia (Kadrian Mark Verjaque 58’), Ayoub El Hmidi, Kyle Clinton (El-Din Omar Salah 81’), Shay Jones (Michael Ruiz 46’), Ryan Azopardi (Stefan Thorne 46’), Nicholas Pazo, James Caetano (Davan Martin 75’).
MANAGER: David Ochello.
YELLOW CARDS: Kyle Clinton (44’), James Caetano (44’).
RED CARDS: None.
Referee: Chrysovalantis Theouli (CYP) Assistant referees: Marios Kalogerou (CYP), Pavlos Georgiou (CYP) Fourth official: Georgios Nikolaou (CYP) .