Brave performance in Tri-Nations
Match Report from Tuesday's fixture
Wales U15 boys played Belgium last night in this the first of two games in the Tri Nations Tournament at the impressive Belgian National Football Centre in Tubize.
It took only four minutes for Wales to find a way through the Belgium defence and they had a golden opportunity to take an early lead when Tyler Roberts set Liam Cullen free, but his side-footed effort was saved by Gabriel Brent in the Belgian goal.
At the other end Scott Coughlan pulled off a great save, but the resulting corner saw Belgium take an early lead after 10 minutes with a well taken goal by Boufous Younes.
It was Younes again who doubled Belgium's lead on 15 minutes. Despite conceding two early goals against a talented team who had started the brighter the Welsh youngsters didn't let their heads drop and continued to press and close down the Belgian side forcing them into making mistakes.
Wales got their just rewards on 24 minutes when a well organised press enabled Matty Smith to regain the ball in an advance area and as he progressed he slotted calmly past the Belgian keeper.
West Brom's Tyler Roberts, who had recently been promoted into Geraint Williams' U16 squad and played in Belfast at the UEFA development tournament, tormented the Belgium defence with his explosive pace and forced another mistake on 28 minutes only for the Belgian keeper to come racing 25 yards out of his goal to clear with Roberts chasing down.
Following an excellent cross by Sam Phillips from the right, Matty Smith created another goal for himself - this time with an individual piece of skill controlling the ball in the 18 yard box and unleashing an unstoppable half volley to take Wales into the interval at 2-2.
Wales started the second half where they left off and it was Matty Smith again who was unlucky not to have claimed his hat-trick only to see his strike go over the bar following a neat passing move. From the resulting goal kick Belgium got what proved to be the decisive goal on 64 minutes with a well taken header from Corryn Milan.
Wales responded positively and kept working for each other to get back into the game which would have been what their performance thoroughly deserved. With the clock counting down Wales' last chance fell to Liam Cullen whose header from a perfect free kick from Arsenal's Robbie Burton fell straight into the keeper's hands.
Head Coach Osian Roberts can take plenty of positives from this evening's performance especially with the amount of goal scoring opportunities the boys created.
Osian Roberts commented, "We didn't start very well, but after conceding two early goals in the first 15 minutes I was delighted with how the players responded and got themselves back into the game by believing in what we want them to do. Our playing without the ball was excellent and we forced Belgium into making several mistakes. I was really pleased with the amount of chances we created which shows we are a real threat going forward and we had good possession with a purpose."