Crowell grabs last-minute win

Azerbaijan Under-21 0 Wales Under-21 1
Click to follow
The Independent Football

Matthew Crowell of Wrexham scored a dramatic winner as Wales got their European Under-21 Championship qualifiers off on the right foot against Azerbaijan here yesterday.

Matthew Crowell of Wrexham scored a dramatic winner as Wales got their European Under-21 Championship qualifiers off on the right foot against Azerbaijan here yesterday.

Swansea's Stuart Jones was sent off for a second bookable offence in the second half which threatened to ruin a positive display by Glyn Hodges' side. But Crowell - playing his first full game of the season after an ankle operation - bagged the winner on only his second appearance at this level.

Jones made his Under-21 debut while the Manchester United forward Ramon Caliste got his first start at this level. Crewe's David Vaughan and Shrewsbury's Jamie Tolley both returned. However, the main interest from the senior coaches must be in Plymouth's Peter Gilbert at left-back. Gilbert is 21 and has over 60 first-team matches under his belt. Cardiff's Stuart Fleetwood produced Wales' first chance when he cruised past two men before his shot was hampered by the awful playing surface. Then Caliste, highly thought of at Old Trafford, produced a fine spin and shot which tested the goalkeeper Ruslan Majidov.

Gilbert's ball into space near the break helped create Wales' best chance of the half when it was collected by Adam Birchall, who squared to Tolley to shoot just over from 20 yards.

Seconds before the break Rashad Sadigov was booked for pushing his hand into David Pipe's face after conceding a free-kick.

Three minutes into the second half Jones caused confusion in the box jumping for a Lee Fowler corner, before Majidov made a flying save to keep out Tolley from an indirect free-kick.

But then Jones was shown a second yellow card after 58 minutes for dissent.

The goal came on 85 minutes when Gilbert and Birchall engineered a move which ended with Crowell - who had only been on the pitch for three minutes - surging into the box to drill the ball home from 15 yards.

AZERBAIJAN UNDER-21: Majidov, Allahverdiyev, Namazov, Sasha, Roskad Sadigov (Jamal Mammadov, 60), Huseynov, Abbasov (Nadirov, 82), Maharramov, Amirjanovic (Abdullayev, 87), Aleksandr Mammadov, Abbsov. Substitutes not used: Agayev, Abdurahmanov, Agarishiyev, Aliev.

WALES UNDER-21: Price, Pipe, Gilbert, Fowler (Spender, 60), Parslow, Jones, Fleetwood (Crowell, 82), Tolley, Birchall (Fish, 87), Calliste, Vaughan. Substitutes not used: Worgan, Duffy, Morgan, Hughes.

Referee: Carlo Bertolini (Switzerland).

Comments