Evans brace downs Bosnia
Young Dragons keep Euro ambitions on track
Last Updated: 10/10/09 3:09pm
Evans: Star of the show
Wales U21s overcame their Bosnian counterparts 2-0 on Saturday to remain on course for the 2011 European Championships.
Two second half goals from Sheffield United striker Ched Evans saw Brian Flynn's side to victory at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground.
Wales sit proudly at the top of qualification Group Three, taking maximum points from their three home games so far and dropping only two points on their travels.
They are due to meet Bosnia again in Sarajevo next month and travel to Italy and Hungary next year, but they remain in the driving seat to reach the play-offs for a second successive campaign.
Wales were forced to play a patient game in their latest outing as the visitors kept plenty of men behind the ball and defended in depth, a tactic which paid handsome dividends for them in the opening 20 minutes of the match.
Although the home side probed continuously, they were unable to carve out too many clear-cut chances and Bosnian goalkeeper Ibrahim Sehic was barely troubled.
It was the visitors, always looking to play on the break, who posed the first real threat on 27 minutes when Josep Coric broke clear from the halfway line and was just lining up his shot before being dispossessed in a fine challenge by Wrexham's Neil Taylor, playing on his home ground.
A lack of urgency from Wales combined with an absence of genuine pace up front meant set-pieces offered the best hopes of a breakthrough, but too often the delivery was poor.
And the home side squandered their only real opportunity of the half two minutes before the break when Christian Ribeiro pulled the ball back for Nathan Craig, who screwed his shot wide from 10 yards.
The Everton youngster went close to making amends in the 46th minute with a fierce first-time effort that Sehic did well to turn away for a corner as Wales continued to dominate both possession and territory.
And their persistence finally paid off in the 56th minute when Craig's free-kick was helped on by Marc Williams for Evans to head past Sehic.
Bosnia - forced to come out of their shell - came close to an equaliser within four minutes, Nebosja Pejic volleying wide as the home defence came under pressure for the first time.
And goalkeeper Chris Maxwell, thus far a virtual spectator, was fortunate not to be punished by Pejic when he made a hash of an attempted clearance but regained control of the ball at the second attempt.
At the other end, Sehic kept his side in the hunt with a fine 78th-minute save from Williams, but Evans rounded it off three minutes into added time with a deflected shot which looped over the goalkeeper.
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Sat 10th Oct - Group Three
Wales U212 - 0Bosnia U21
Sat 10th Oct - Group One
Russia U212 - 0Faroe Islands U21
Moldova U211 - 0Andorra U21
Sat 10th Oct - Group Ten
Scotland U211 - 0Belarus U21
Azerbaijan U211 - 2Austria U21
Sat 10th Oct - Group Six
Bulgaria U211 - 1Montenegro U21
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group One
|6||San Marino U21||10||4|
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Two
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Three
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Four
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Five
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Six
|4||Rep of Ireland U21||8||8|
|5||Faroe Islands U21||8||4|
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Seven
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Eight
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Nine
|5||N Ireland U21||8||3|
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Ten
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Eleven
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Twelve
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Thirteen
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Fourteen