by Callum Ellis
WALES Under-19s secured qualification for the UEFA European Championship 2020 elite round with a 2-0 win over Kosovo at Rodney Parade.
After picking up four points from their opening two games – a win against Poland and draw with Russia respectively – a point would have been enough to see Rob Edwards’ side reach the elite round.
But goals from Harry Pinchard and Neco Williams – with his third goal in two games – ensured Wales claimed maximum points.
Edwards’ men topped their qualifying round group for the first time – but how did Wales’ young stars fare in Newport?
Lewis Webb – 7
Came to Wales’ rescue in the opening stages to deny Leonard Uka’s curling effort from finding the top corner. Quick off his line to beat the onrushing Uka to the ball on the stroke of half-time. Solid when called upon.
Neco Williams – 8 (Star man)
Tucked away two penalties against Russia on Saturday and followed those up with another goal. Saw his penalty saved but was quick to the rebound. The 18-year-old Liverpool defender wasn’t afraid to get forward and put in another confident display.
Cameron Evans – 6
Solid performance on the right-side of the back three. Looked to feed Williams down the wing at every opportunity.
Ryan Astley – 6
Won several aerial duels and proved to be solid sitting in the middle of the back three. Helped keep Kosovo at bay.
Morgan Boyes – 6
Commanding performance from the Wales skipper against a Kosovo side who created little. Ensured Wales kept their second clean sent of the qualifying campaign.
Scott Smith – 6
Bundled to the ground and won the penalty, which Williams eventually stuck away.
Samuel Pearson – 5
The Bristol City midfielder frustrated the Kosovo defence throughout and was hacked down on numerous occasions. Booked for simulation after going down and appealing for a penalty.
Sam Bowen – 6
Influential in midfield and kept things ticking over. Demanded the ball and made several key passes.
Harry Pinchard – 8
Took his goal well just before the interval, striking a low effort past goalkeeper Petrir Terziu from inside the area.
Joe Adams – 7
Enjoyed himself down the left-wing and caused the Kosovo defence problems. Set up Pinchard for the goal and saw a free-kick palmed away by Terziu. Sent in a few dangerous deliveries.
Daniel Griffiths – 5
The Cardiff City loanee endured a relatively quiet afternoon and didn’t manage to test Terziu as much as he would’ve liked.
Isaak Davies (for Harry Pinchard 79′) – 5
Added energy up front after his introduction but. Nearly added a third in the dying minutes.
Rhys Hughes (for Samuel Pearson 86′) – NA
Christian Horton (for Daniel Griffiths 86′) – NA