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Armenia in touch after beating ten-man Wales

Wales 0-1 Armenia
Hovhannes Hambardzumyan's penalty earned Rafael Nazaryan's side victory against their ten-man hosts and keeps them in the qualification race.

Hovhannes Hovhannisyan (right) scored Armenia's winning goal from the penalty spot
Hovhannes Hovhannisyan (right) scored Armenia's winning goal from the penalty spot ©Roberto Ricciuti/TotalFootball.am

Armenia secured a crucial victory against ten-man Wales to keep them in the hunt at the top of UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 3.

Both sides needed to win to have any chance of catching the Czech Republic at the top of the section and it was the visitors who made the perfect start. Wales defender David Stephens was shown a straight red card for a foul on Gagik Poghosyan in the area and Hovhannes Hambardzumyan converted the resulting penalty on seven minutes to give Rafael Nazaryan's side the lead.

Armenia came close to doubling their advantage midway through the first half but substitute Troy Brown was on hand to clear Masis Voskanyan's effort off the line. Wales goalkeeper Chris Maxwell had to be at his best to deny Voskanyan and Aghvan Papikyan either side of the break as the visitors began to make their numerical advantage count.

Maxwell was involved again on 66 minutes but this time his error handed Armenia their second penalty of the game. However, Hambardzumyan could only hit the crossbar and the hosts almost made him pay 16 minutes from time, when Lee Lucas's long-range strike was well saved by Gor Elyazyan.

Armenia held on to move within two points of the Czech Republic, the leaders, who have two matches to play. Armenia travel to Montenegro for their final game on 10 September.

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