Cymru’s UEFA EURO U21 qualifying journey so far

Cymru U21 continue their 2025 UEFA EURO U21 qualifying campaign on Friday 22 March as they face Lithuania at Rodney Parade.

Matty Jones’ side have three qualifiers remaining and sit second in Group I ahead of their penultimate home fixture in Newport. Tickets are available to purchase here.

Cymru have achieved a string of impressive results and put themselves in a strong position to make history by reaching a UEFA EURO U21 finals tournament for the first time.

They have passed the halfway mark in their qualifying journey, so we’ve taken a look back at their campaign so far…

Denmark 2-2 Cymru – 20 June 2023

Cymru were dealt a tough start to their qualifying journey with an away trip against the top seeds – and group favourites – Denmark in Vejle.

The home side went ahead through Maurits Kjaergaard’s penalty just before half time but Cymru replied three minutes after the restart when Rubin Colwill fired home from the spot. The incident resulted in Denmark being reduced to 10 men after Lucas Hey handled Pat Jones’ goal-bound effort.

Colwill put Cymru ahead for the first time on the hour mark with his second penalty of the afternoon and enjoying a numerical advantage Jones’ side were in the ascendancy.

But the 10-man hosts hit back as Oliver Provstgaard headed home with 17 minutes left on the clock. Denmark were then reduced to nine following Alexander Busch’s reckless challenge on Josh Thomas, but Cymru were unable to find a late winner with Jones’ side left with a feeling of frustration at the full-time whistle.

Lithuania 2-3 Cymru – 12 September 2023

Cymru continued their unbeaten start to the group in September as they secured an away victory over Lithuania in Jonava.

Jones’ side went ahead when Luke Harris netted his first goal for the under-21s with a composed finish on the half hour mark before Fin Stevens doubled the advantage from a tight angle within a minute of the second period.

Joel Cotterill then grabbed his first goal for the side from 25 yards to wrap up what looked to be a convincing victory for Cymru, only for the home side to hit back with two late goals.

Faustas Steponavicius netted in the first minute of stoppage time before Kristupas Kersys added a second less than 60 seconds later, but Cymru did enough to survive a late scare and Jones’ side moved to the top of the group.

Czechia 1-1 Cymru – 13 October 2023

A third straight away game to begin the qualifying campaign saw Cymru make a difficult trip to Ceske Budejovice to take on second seeds Czechia.

Cymru had to soak up plenty of pressure throughout the first half as Czechia, who enjoyed plenty of chances in the opening 45, went ahead just before the break through Matej Jurasek’s strike.

Despite two good opportunities for Owen Beck, the scoreline remained 1-0 and it looked as though Cymru were about to be condemned to their first defeat of the campaign.

But Jones’ side hit back with virtually the last kick of the game through substitute Cian Ashford, who had only been on the pitch five minutes.

After goalkeeper Ed Beach’s long free-kick down field was punched to the edge of the area by his opposite number, Ashford fired home a stunning volley to ensure Cymru’s unbeaten run continued and spark dramatic scenes in stoppage time.

Cymru 1-0 Iceland – 16 November 2023

A double-header in November saw Cymru start with the challenge of Iceland for their first home qualifier of the campaign.

Joe Low broke the deadlock after 28 minutes as his downward header from Tom Davies’ cross put Cymru ahead after a quiet opening period at Rodney Parade.

Kristall Máni Ingason thought he had levelled for the visitors but he was adjudged to have handled the ball into the net as the goal was chalked off.

It took a strong defensive display in the second half to hold out following Josh Thomas’ red card, but Cymru did enough to earn their second victory as they moved back to the top of the group ahead of Iceland.

Cymru 1-2 Denmark – 20 November 2023

The final game of 2023 saw Cymru condemned to their first defeat of the campaign in the reverse fixture against top seeds Denmark.

Tobias Bech scored the opening goal after five minutes to put Denmark ahead in Newport and, despite Cymru enjoying chances to draw level, the game was put out of their reach when Oliver Nielsen headed home from a corner late on.

Cian Ashford grabbed a late consolation as he fired in the rebound following Rubin Colwill’s free-kick, but Cymru were unable to score an equaliser as they suffered their first defeat.

It ensured Jones’ side finished the year in second place in their group with goal difference separating them and Denmark, who have played a game less.

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