A Will Russ double ensured Wales U17s ended their 2018 Telki Cup campaign with a 2-2 draw against hosts Hungary in a match where Rob Edwards' side almost took all three points.
Hungary 2-2 Wales
2018 Telki Cup
9 W Russ (4' 54')
11 A Zuigeber (36' 58')
Looking to bounce back from successive defeats against the Czech Republic and Croatia, Wales started strongly from the off, pressing the Hungarians back into their own half. The pressure paid off instantly as Will Russ found himself one on one with the Hungarian goalkeeper and slotting the ball into the bottom right corner with only four minutes on the clock.
Minutes later Russ could have doubled his lead. A mazy run by Bradley Gibbings gave the winger space to drill the ball across the goalmouth with Russ missing the connection by inches to tap the ball into an empty net. With Wales on top of Hungary, another opportunity came for the threatening Russ as he dispossessed the Hungarian centre back but found his strike saved by keeper Krisztian Hegyi.
Hungarian chances were few and far between but they seized an opportunity on the thirty sixth minute. The referee awarded a penalty alleged shirt pull in the Welsh box and forward Akos Zuigeber slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner, with goalkeeper David Robson missing the save by inches after diving the right way.
Wales started strongly again in the second half and had a penalty call go against them in the early stages. However the young Dragons kept battling and Will Russ doubled his tally on the fifty fourth minute, heading in a well delivered cross from full back Iestyn Hughes.
However, Hungary's response was instant. Zuigeber took a shot from outside the box with the ball flying into the top corner over the Welsh defence and second half goalkeeper Cian Tyler.
With several changes for both sides during the second half, Wales continued to push for a winner but were unable to break down the Hungarian back four.
Despite finshing fourth in the competition, coaches Rob Edwards, Paul Bodin and Rob Page will be pleased with the development of the team as the tournament progressed.
1 D Robson (12 C Tyler 45'), 16 I Hughes (6 J Low 64'), 15 J Madelin, 5 L Noble (c) (14 L Motruk 50'), 3 H Rew, 13 T Sparrow (18 J Budd 70'), 10 W Rickard, 20 J Thomas, 17 J Holmes (11 D Jones 64'), 7 B Gibbings, 9 W Russ (19 M Sparkes 70')