Cymru’s unbeaten run in the UEFA U21 EURO 2023 qualifying round came to an end after a 1-0 defeat to Moldova in Orhei.
Moldova 1-0 Cymru
2023 UEFA U21 EURO Qualifying Round
- Friday 8 October 2021
- Orhei, Moldova
Paul Bodin made three changes to the side that beat Bulgaria 4-0 last month, replacing the unavailable Dan Barden in goals with George Ratcliffe, while bringing in Brandon Cooper from his recent senior team call-up and full back Owen Beck for his first U21 start.
Moldova started the strongest of the two sides, with Nicolai Solodovnicov threatening up front. The Moldovan forward’s main chance on goal was thwarted by an impressive sliding block from Owen Beck.
Cymru looked to bounce back from the early scare and came narrowly close through Jack Vale, who saw his effort from the edge of the box deflected narrowly wide. However, Moldova took the lead minutes later after a scramble in the box resulted in the ball falling to the feet of Dinis Ieseanu, who made no mistake in tapping in from close range.
The chance of the first half came to Rhys Hughes, with a free kick bound for the top corner had it not been for the outstretched hand of the Moldovan goalkeeper Agachi.
Looking to make amends, Cymru dominated possession in the second half and created chances. Paul Bodin looked to strengthen the attack by bringing on Luke Jephcott, who was unfortunate with a looping effort landing wide of the far post.
In the closing stages, it looked like Cymru were due to equalise. A long-range effort from Jack Vale was parried away by Agachi who ensured the three points were awarded to the hosts.
Paul Bodin and his side will now look ahead to Tuesday as the U21 EURO qualifying campaign continues when they take on the Netherlands at Nijmegen.
Cymru XI: 12. George Ratcliffe, 2. Fin Stevens, 4. Brandon Cooper (c), 5. Morgan Boyes, 3. Owen Beck, 6. Dan Williams, 8. Sam Bowen (17. Billy Sass-Davies 90+2'), 10. Rhys Hughes, 7. Sam Pearson (13. Luke Jephcott 66'), 11. Joe Adams, 9. Jack Vale.
Subs not used: 1. Nathan Shepperd, 21. Lewis Webb, 14. Isaak Davies, 15. Siôn Spence, 16. Terry Taylor, 19. Eddy Jones, 20. Oli Hammond.
Yellow cards: Morgan Boyes 19', Fin Stevens 43'.