By Nathan Parker & Dan Cope
WALES U19’s kick started their European Championship Qualifying campaign with an impressive 3-0 victory over Poland at Rodney Parade.
It was the away side who started the better of the two teams as the men in white dominated the early proceedings with striker Bartosz Bialek’s 25-yard piledriver just going over the bar.
Once Wales had soaked up the early pressure though, it didn’t take long for Rob Edwards’ young players to find their rhythm and get the first goal.
A great ball into the area from Manchester United product Iestyn Hughes wasn’t dealt with by the Polish defence, and the ball fell to Joseph Adams whose first time strike beat goalkeeper Cezary Miszta all ends up.
Wales were celebrating again just moments later as man of the match Samuel Pearson headed home after a superb delivery from the left hand side from Adams.
As half-time neared, Poland became forceful as Marcel Wedrychowski was deemed to have dived in the area, earning himself a yellow card just before the break.
Poland started the second half strong and nearly equalised inside the opening 10 minutes when a goalmouth scramble led to Bialek collecting the ball only for his shot to be safely saved by Lewis Webb from six yards out.
Wales responded well and almost scored a third after clever play from Liverpool full back Neco Williams whose cross found Pearson at the back post but his shot was well saved by Miszta.
However, after continuing to knock on Poland’s door, Wales finally grabbed their third after 53 minutes after fine attacking play from Hughes, his driven cross picked out Keenan Pattern who slotted the ball home.
Wales nearly scored a fourth a minute later after great play again from Williams, who would’ve impressed Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp today. He weaved his way inside the Poland half and his curling shot from 25 yards out had to tipped over the bar.
Poland began to grow into the half but failed to test the Webb in the Wales goal. One of their better chances came after the hour mark when winger Nicola Zalewski’s free kick sailed over the bar.
With the game slowing down, Poland had one final chance but Bialek’s bad luck in front of goal continued as he got on the end of substitute Maciej Rosolek’s cross inside the six yard box, but his shot flew wide to give Wales a clean sheet and 3-0 victory.