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 Tuesday, 19 November, 2002, 14:31 GMT
Welsh U21s win at last
The win is the first in 26 games for Wales' Under 21s
Wales U21 manager Jimmy Shoulder
Azerbaijan U21 0-1 Wales U21

Bristol Rovers striker Kevin Gall scored the goal which ended Wales U21s' dreadful record of five-and-a-half years without a win.

Gall's second-half strike closed the book on a run of 26 matches without success dating back to March 1997.

Coventry midfielder David Pipe was given his U21 debut in the Shafa Stadium, but otherwise it was the same team that was unlucky to lose out to the Azzurri last month.

Pipe troubled home keeper Mikail Yusifov, with a free kick early on, but the home side also had their chances.

Shrewsbury's James Tolley was booked for a heavy tackle on Mammadov after 22 minutes, and Wales had been forced to defend doggedly against quick, nimble strikers.

Azerbaijan took off defender Agil Nabiev and brought on Ramin Gusuinov who was booked for dissent within minutes of coming on.

The home side then had Mikail Namazov booked for a foul before Wales brought on Notts County's Michael Brough for his debut as substitute for Ryan Valentine on 59 minutes.

Gall went close in the 65th minute as Wales began to get on top.

Then, in the 73rd minute, came the decisive strike.

Adam Birchall opened up the defence for Gall to drive home from eight yards.

James Collins, who has broken into Cardiff's first team this season, was rewarded with his debut as a replacement for Birchall with six minutes to go.

Brough smashed a 25-yard shot against the bar with three minutes left only for Ryan Day - caught by surprise - to lift the rebound over the bar.


Teams - Azerbaijan U21: Yusifov, Haskimov, Namazov, Hadjiev, Nabiev, Roskad Sadigov, Guliev, Mammadov, Saguly Sadigov, Aliev, Vusal Guseynov.
Subs: Kariamy, Skakbayov, Ramin Guseynov, Agarishiyev, Gasuimov, Murtuzaliev, Gurbanov.

Wales U21: Brown, Moss, Pejic, Day, Price, Pipe, Mumford, Tolley, Valentine, Birchall, Gall.
Subs: Collins, Whitfield, Brough, Mark Jones, Evans, Matty Williams.

Ref: D Drabek (Austria)


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