Wales make winning start to 2015 qualifying

Wales 1-0 Moldova
Manchester United FC's Tom Lawrence struck the first goal of 2015 Under-21 qualifying as Wales earned a narrow win in Llanelli.

Wales captain Lee Lucas (right) surges past Ion Prodan
Wales captain Lee Lucas (right) surges past Ion Prodan ©Football Association of Wales

A first-half volley from Manchester United FC striker Tom Lawrence earned Wales a narrow win against Moldova in the opening game of 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying.

Lawrence struck after ten minutes to raise spirits on a bitterly cold night in Llanelli. It set the tone for a game the home side were always in control of without ever managing to put the game to bed. Moldova could not conjure a reply, however, their hopes of finding a way back into it fading further when Constantin Bogdan received a second yellow card 18 minutes from time.

In between the chances had all gone to Wales, Emyr Hughes and Joe Walsh going close while Rob Ogleby had a goal ruled out for offside. It was Wales' first win in over a year at this level and, as the first match on the road to the Czech Republic finals in 2015, leaves them top of the nascent Group 1. The likes of England and Finland may prove harder assignments over the next 18 months.