Cymru finished their UEFA U17 EURO finals debut on a high note as a Gabriele Biancheri header and an Iwan Morgan brace secured a 3-0 win against group winners Poland at the BSC Stadium in Hungary.
Cymru’s best chance of the first half came in the opening stages. Freddie Issaka battled his way through the field on the right-hand side, finding Joe Andrews in the centre of the box whose strike went over the crossbar. Moments before half time Poland came close with their best chance as Mikolajewski’s free kick from distance smashed against the woodwork.
The woodwork was struck yet again in the second half, this time by Cymru as Josh Beecher’s cross almost found its way into the back of the net. The Poles showed their strength as group leaders throughout the half and forced several impressive saves from goalkeeper Luke Armstrong.
With ten minutes remaining, Gabriele Biancheri broke the deadlock with Cymru’s first goal of the tournament. A superb delivery by Issaka on the right wing found Biancheri close to the penalty spot, with the forward’s thundering header finding the top corner.
With Craig Knight’s side in the lead, Poland pushed for a late equaliser but were held at bay by a resilient Cymru defence. Despite Poland’s efforts, Cymru were able to double their lead in the closing stages on the counter-attack through a mazy run by striker Iwan Morgan who made no mistake in finding the bottom corner after dribbling thirty five yards with the ball.
The lead was further increased in stoppage time as Morgan doubled his tally, this time finding the top corner with a superb strike from the edge of the box.
The match marks the end of Cymru’s campaign in the 2023 UEFA U17 EURO finals tournament, the first time a Cymru men’s age group has qualified for a major tournament since 1981.
Cymru U17: 12. Luke Armstrong, 14. Josh Beecher, 3. Luey Giles, 5. Dylan Lawlor (15. Alyas Debono 70’), 6. Brayden Clarke, 2. Rhys Thomas, 8. Charlie Crew ©, 16. Jacob Cook (9. Iwan Morgan 61’), 4. Joe Andrews (18. Alfie Tuck 61’), 19. Freddie Issaka (11. Joe Hatch 86’), 10. Gabriele Biancheri (7. Cody Twose 86’).
Subs not used: 1. Kit Margetson, 13. Sam Parker, 17. Alfie Cunningham, 20. Troy Perrett.
Goals: 10. Biancheri 82′, 9. Morgan 89′ 90+1′.
Yellow cards: 16. Jacob Cook 32′, 8. Charlie Crew 42′, 6. Brayden Clarke 58; 9. Morgan 90+5′.
UEFA U17 EURO FINALS
Cymru 3-0 Poland
- Biancheri 82′, Morgan 89′, 90+1′.