Wales U16 were well beaten in Gevelsberg but never let their spirits drop
Germany U16 5-1 Wales U16
Following an invitation from the German Football Federation, Wales U16 refused to be downhearted, despite being badly beaten on a tough afternoon against Germany at Stadion Stefansbachtal in Gevelsberg.
Despite the 5-1 defeat, against a team who regularly qualify for tournaments at age-grade level, the Welsh coaches were happy that their players, who have been attending regional camps for the last two years, have benefited from the experience.
Wales contained the hosts' attacking play early on but a loose ball inside the 6-yard box that was tapped in for the opening goal.
As the first half minutes ticked away Wales showed immense character in their desire to play the game in the manner they have been accustomed to and several counter-attacks were thwarted by the resolute German defence.
The second goal for the hosts came from a long-shot which found the bottom corner of the goal inches from the reach of the Wales keeper Dan Barden of Arsenal.
Wales went into the break 2-0 down but an early second half penalty made the score 3-0.
The fourth German goal also came from the sport before Wales changed their system to try and hit the Germans on the counter.
When a long-range shot from Sam Bowen (Cardiff City) dipped onto the wrong side of the bar, it was a clear indication that the character and spirit of the players wasn’t defeated.
But at the other end the Germans were still as dangerous. The fifth goals was the result of a powerful header from a corner but still wasn't enough to dampen the spirits of the players.
Jack Vale (Blackburn Rovers) ran at the defence and won a free-kick as he was forced to the ground by some desperate defending.
Rivel Mardenborough (Newport County) shot for goal, only to be denied by a great but Callum Watts (Southampton) was on hand to fire home a suporb goal from the narrowest of angles.
The Southampton starlet was engulfed by his excited team mates, proving that five goals against couldn’t dampen the spirits of this young Welsh side, event though they were soundly beaten by a top-class Germany team.
On Tuesday they play their second game against their hosts at Stadion am Bruchbaum, Lippstadt at 6pm.