DAY CAPTAINED WALES UNDER-20 LAST NIGHT
Wales Under-20's 0 South Korea Under-21's 0
Report by Paul Walker, PA Sport
Wales' youngsters usually find themselves on the wrong end of things but tonight they followed up their win in Azerbaijan with another impressive performance. They dominated and out-played the Asian champions and really should have made more of a string of chances.
Wales boss Mark Hughes was there to run the rule over his country's young generation at Ninian Park and he would have been impressed with the displays of Coventry pair David Pipe and Lee Fowler, as well as Crewe's David Vaughan.
Hughes and his entire coaching staff were at this under-20 international to see the youngsters and very much in the spotlight was Aston Villa's young defender Rob Edwards. Edwards, who has already played for England Schools, has forced his way into Villa's Premiership side this season and is clearly being considered for fast-tracking into Hughes' seniors as well.
He was neat, uncomplicated and reliable at right-back as Wales took on the Asian under-20 champions who are on a European tour as warm-up for the world under-20 finals in Dubai.
The Koreans had all the hallmarks of their seniors who surprised everyone in the World Cup finals last summer. The same pace, control and sheer desire shown by the seniors was just as obvious from this side. Gil Hoon Lee and Sung Kuk Chol could both have scored early on, but Jason Brown - who played the previous night in Gillingham's defeat at Reading - was strong and commanding in goal.
But Wales, fielding basically their under-21s who ended a five year run without a victory in Azerbaijan before Christmas, were positive and quick about their work and carved out a handful of decent chances. Pipe and Kevin Gall saw efforts blocked with a double save from 'keeper Young Kwang Kim, and then Manchester United's Matthew Williams completely missed his shot in the six yard box from Pipe's laid back cross.
Wales brought on Cardiff's James Collins (left) for Matthew Williams and Gareth Williams for Gall at the break. The hosts had much the better of things and Williams went close with a 25- yard shot and a close range stab after being set up by Vaughan.
Skipper Rhys Day with a downward header and Michael Brough with a fierce drive both went close as Wales searched for the breakthrough. In the 72nd minute Wrexham 'keeper Paul Whitfield replaced Brown and Richard Evans came on for Michael Price. Millwall's Matthew Rees was next on, for Shaun Pejic.
Rees and Collins could both have scored but Wales still had to thank 'keeper Whitfield for a point blank late save from Hyeung Bum Kim at the whistle.
Wales Under-20: J Brown (Gillingham), R Edwards (Aston Villa), M Price (unattached), S Pejic (Wrexham), R Day (capt, Mansfield), M Brough (Notts County), D Pipe (Coventry), L Fowler (Coventry), K Gall (Yeovil), M Williams (Man Utd), D Vaughan (Crewe).
Subs: M Rees (Milwall), R Evans (Birmingham), A Davies (Southampton), G Williams (C Palace), J Collins (cardiff), P Whitfield (Wrexham).
South Korea Under-20: Kwang-Kim, Hwan Lim, Kyu Kim, Yoon Cho, Seok Oh, Woo Kim, Hoon Lee, Woong Han, Gook Jung, Kuk Chol, Hun Kim.
Subs: Il Sung, Jin Yeo, Lee, Bum Kim, Hoon Baek, Jong Lee, Chul Kim.
Referee: M Whitby (Wales)
Latest | February 2003