Matty Jones’ reign as Cymru U21 Head Coach began with a 2-0 friendly defeat against Austria in Vienna.
Bernhard Zimmermann broke the deadlock early on for the hosts when he broke through and guided home a low effort.
Joe Taylor came close to drawing Cymru level with their best chance of the game eight minutes into the second half, only to see his low effort come back off the foot of the post.
Austria substitutes Benjamin Kanuric and Muharem Huskovic then combined later in the half, with the latter finishing off a quick breakaway to ensure Cymru were beaten at Naturarena Hohe Warte Stadtion.
Defender Ed Turns wore the captain’s armband for the first time in a line-up that saw Jones hand six players their first start for the side. While Turns, Fin Stevens, Zac Ashworth, Owen Beck and Oli Hammond were among those with previous under-21s experience in the starting 11.
Cymru dominated proceedings throughout the first half, but it was the home side who took the lead after eight minutes. Austria captain Matthis Braunoder picked up a loose ball and slipped it through to Zimmermann, who fired home from inside the area.
Cymru came close to levelling midway through the first half as Turns guided Owen Beck’s free kick just wide of the top corner.
Austria threatened again and looked to double their advantage although Braunoder’s shot from the edge of the area failed to trouble David Robson on his first start in the Cymru goal.
But Robson was called into action minutes later as he stuck out a strong hand to push Yusuf Demir’s powerful effort from 25 yards over the crossbar.
Cymru made four changes at the interval as Cian Tyler replaced Robson between the sticks, while Matt Baker, Jadan Raymond and Josh Farrell made way for Luca Hoole, Eli King and Josh Thomas.
The latter almost made an immediate impact as he latched on to a long ball forward and took the ball past substitute goalkeeper Nikolas Polster. The Swansea City striker looked to have been brought down by Polster in the process but the referee was unmoved by the protests.
Cymru came again and were inches away from grabbing the leveller in the 53rd minute as Beck’s cross into the box picked out Taylor, who turned well and saw his left-footed shot come back off the base of the post.
Jones’ side had enjoyed a good spell of pressure but it was the home side who grabbed their second with 19 minutes left on the clock. After breaking through on goal,Huskovic squared the ball across to fellow substitute Kanuric and he side-footed the ball into the top right corner.
Turns nearly opened his account in his first game as captain late on but saw his header go marginally wide of the far post as Cymru suffered defeat in Vienna.
Cymru XI: David Robson (Cian Tyler 45’), Fin Stevens (Tom Sparrow 82’), Ed Turns (c), Matt Baker (Luca Hoole 45’), Zac Ashworth (Owen Bevan 82’), Owen Beck (Iestyn Hughes 82’), Oli Hammond (Ryan Howley 82’), Charlie Savage (Dan Malone 66’), Jadan Raymond (Eli King 45’), Josh Farrell (Josh Thomas 45’), Joe Taylor.
Subs not used: Eddie Beach.
AUSTRIA 2-0 CYMRU
U21 International Challenge Match
- Tuesday, 27 September 2022
- Hohe Warte Stadium, Vienna