Switzerland edged past Cymru U21s with a 1-0 win in their UEFA U21 EURO Qualifying Round match.
2023 UEFA U21 EURO Qualifying Round
Cymru v Switzerland
- Tuesday 16 November
- Rodney Parade, Newport
Cymru created their fair share of chances in front of goal with Billy Sass-Davies going close to breaking the deadlock in the early stages of the second half.
But Felix Mambimbi’s strike eight minutes after half time proved to be enough to earn the away side the victory at Rodney Parade.
Paul Bodin named an unchanged side from the one which recorded a 7-0 win against Gibraltar on Friday evening, while Ben Margetson, who was called up to the squad in place of Elliot Thorpe, was added to the bench.
Cymru came close to opening the scoring inside the opening four minutes after Joe Adams’ free kick caused problems in the penalty area, but a scramble between the Switzerland defence saw them clear the ball to safety.
Mambimbi nearly opened the scoring for the away side down the opposite end when he drove into the penalty area, although Sass-Davies was on hand with a block to prevent the shot from troubling goalkeeper George Ratcliffe.
The woodwork then came to Cymru’s rescue with seven minutes left of the first half as a low pass from Adrian Gantenbein found Zeki Amdouni, who saw his effort come back off the post.
Ratcliffe had rarely been tested throughout the first half but he had to be on hand to keep Switzerland at bay on the stroke of half time, producing a strong save at his near post to keep out Fabian Rieder’s powerful effort.
Ratcliffe’s opposite number Justin Hammel delivered a fine save of his own three minutes after the restart after Adams’ corner was flicked on by Jephcott towards the edge of the area. Williams connected with the header well but saw his first-time effort held by the Switzerland goalkeeper.
It was Cymru’s best chance to open the scoring, but it was the away side who broke the deadlock down the opposite end. Dan Ndoye latched on to the end of a long ball forward and took the ball beyond Ratcliffe before squaring it to Mambimbi, who struck the ball into the net.
Sass-Davies then thought he had found the equaliser for Cymru with four minutes left on the clock after connecting with Rhys Hughes’ free-kick.
But the goal was chalked off after the referee Manfredas Lukjancukas awarded a free kick for the visitors, who held on to secure the victory.
Paul Bodin’s side return to action on Friday, March 25 when they travel to Switzerland for the reverse fixture.
Cymru XI: 1. George Ratcliffe, 2. Ryan Astley, 14. Owen Beck, 4. Billy Sass-Davies, 5. Brandon Cooper (C) 6. Dan Williams, 8. Terry Taylor, 7. Sam Pearson, 10. Jack Vale (15. Isaak Davies 75’), 11. Joe Adams (3. Edward Jones 74’), 9. Luke Jephcott (16. Hughes 81’)
Subs not used: 12. Nathan Shepperd, 21. Lewis Webb, 13. Morgan Boyes, 17. Eli King, 18. Ben Margetson, 19. Oliver Hammond.
Yellow cards: Astley, Beck, Taylor, Williams, Cooper.