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England withstand Welsh onslaught

Published: Wednesday 15 October 2008, 0.44CET
England 2-2 Wales (agg: 5-4)
Unlucky Wales struck the post late on as Stuart Pearce's side held on to their first-leg advantage in a gripping all-British encounter in Birmingham.
by Michael Harrold
from Birmingham
England withstand Welsh onslaught
A Sam Vokes own goal kept England on level terms in Birmingham ©Getty Images

Match statistics

EnglandWales

Goals scored2
 
2
Attempts on target2
 
5
Attempts off target4
 
6
Corners3
 
3
Fouls committed14
 
9
Yellow cards0
2
Red Cards1
 
0

Standings

Published: Wednesday 15 October 2008, 0.44CET

England withstand Welsh onslaught

England 2-2 Wales (agg: 5-4)
Unlucky Wales struck the post late on as Stuart Pearce's side held on to their first-leg advantage in a gripping all-British encounter in Birmingham.

England advanced to the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship but only after being given a scare by Wales who drew 2-2 in a thrilling second leg of their play-off.

Gripping encounter
England had conceded just one goal, a penalty, in the qualifying group but after letting in two in a 3-2 victory in the away leg last Friday, they again struggled to contain Brian Flynn's vibrant side. Wales had a boisterous Villa Park crowd on the edge of their seats after recovering from Tom Huddlestone's early strike to take a 2-1 lead through goals from Aaron Ramsey and Simon Church. An own goal by Sam Vokes restored parity before the break and, despite Huddlestone's second-half dismissal, England, semi-finalists in 2007, hung on to qualify.

Welsh rally
The opening stages were played out in Welsh territory and the hosts' possession paid off after 12 minutes when Adam Johnson was brought down by Ramsey on the edge of the Wales area. Huddlestone curled the free-kick low into the right corner to put England ahead. Trailing 4-2 on aggregate, the visitors now needed three goals at least to progress. Yet rather than let heads drop, they set about the task with belief. Church, scorer of both Wales's first-leg goals, forced Joe Hart into a smart stop, then Andy King shot wide.

Twists and turns
Wales were emphatically back in the tie after 24 minutes, however, when Ramsey gathered the ball in midfield and released a blistering left-foot strike from 25 metres that flew into the top-left corner. Six minutes later they turned the game on its head. Ramsey played Church through and he fired beyond Hart for his third goal of the play-off. England coach Stuart Pearce had stuck with the side that won in Cardiff, but he was soon making changes as he sought to regain control in midfield – Fabrice Muamba replaced Lee Cattermole. Pearce, though, had fortune to thank for England's equaliser on 35 minutes as Steven Taylor's header ricocheted off Vokes and in.

Denied by the post
As play switched from end to end, all that was lacking in a frenetic British encounter was a rainstorm, and that duly arrived shortly after England had welcomed the half-time whistle with no further damage done. The substitution of home favourite Gabriel Agbonlahor – the Aston Villa FC forward succumbing to a hamstring injury – for Fraizer Campbell suggested otherwise. In Agbonlahor's absence, it was another Villa man, James Milner, who came close to restoring England's advantage with a stinging drive, well blocked by Owain Fon Williams. However, the momentum swung back Wales's way after 65 minutes when Huddlestone was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Darcey Blake. Needing one goal to force extra time, Wales stepped up the pressure and Vokes hit the post with a low strike on 85 minutes. Yet that was as close as they would come as England held on.

Last updated: 27/03/13 6.23CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2009/matches/round=15085/match=304071/postmatch/report/index.html#england+withstand+welsh+onslaught

Lineups

England

England

Wales

Wales

1
HartJoe Hart (GK)
1
O. WilliamsOwain Williams (GK)
2
WheaterDavid Wheater
2
EardleyNeal Eardley (C)
6
MancienneMichael Mancienne
3
WigginsRhoys Barrie Wiggins
Yellow Card61
5
TaylorSteven Taylor (C)
5
BlakeDarcy Blake
Yellow Card76
3
O'HaraJamie O'Hara
6
JacobsonJoseph Jacobson
10
NobleMark Noble
4
CollisonJack Collison
8
HuddlestoneTom Huddlestone
Goal13
Red Card66
8
KingAndy King
Substitution60
4
CattermoleLee Cattermole
Substitution31
11
MacDonaldShaun MacDonald
Substitution84
7
MilnerJames Milner
10
RamseyAaron Ramsey
Goal24
11
A. JohnsonAdam Johnson
9
ChurchSimon Church
Goal28
9
AgbonlahorGabriel Agbonlahor
Substitution46
18
VokesSam Vokes
Goal35

Substitutes

12
A. TaylorAndrew Taylor
12
R. TaylorRhys Taylor (GK)
13
HeatonThomas Heaton (GK)
7
AdamsNicolas Adams
Substitution84
14
CranieMartin Cranie
13
JamesLloyd James
15
MuambaFabrice Muamba
Substitution31
14
BaseyGrant Basey
16
DerbyshireMatt Derbyshire
15
BradleyMark Bradley
Substitution60
17
CampbellFraizer Campbell
Substitution46
16
BrownJonathan Brown
18
LallanaAdam Lallana
17
AllenJoe Allen

Coach

Stuart Pearce (ENG) Brian Flynn (WAL)

Referee

Kevin Blom (NED)

Assistant referees

Wilco Lobbert (NED), Berry Simons (NED)

Fourth official

Tom van Sichem (NED)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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