By Jordan Jones
Slovakia 0-1 Wales
Wales U15 won the first of their friendly double-header with Slovakia, courtesy of a first-half goal from Japhet Matondo.
Japhet Matondo - brother of 2015 Victory Shield winner and member of Ryan Giggs’ senior team Rabbi Matondo - scored the only goal of the game to provide Richard Williams’ side with the victory.
Wales continued their fine form after winning two out of three matches at Colliers Park in August, continuing their preparations for the 2020 Victory Shield.
But it could have started badly for Wales, as Leo Sauer, of MŠK Žilina, was denied a first-minute opener, after Swansea City’s Sebastian Debrawski blocked his goal-bound effort.
Finlay Corrigan, of Ipswich Town, played a luscious pass to the feet of Matondo who scored with a composed finish past Michal Lukáč.
Ben Lloyd and Luke Harris both had efforts stopped by Slovakian defenders in a quick flurry of shots from the same attack.
Slovakia almost drew level with a great opportunity. Milan Simon Rehus fired over the bar in the six-yard box after Vladimir Valko found the Slovakian Bratislava forward.
Valko then forced Oliver Camis into a save as he tried to sneak his low powerful shot past the Bournemouth goalkeeper.
Matondo and Corrigan were enjoying a fruitful partnership with Corrigan continuously providing Matondo with through balls to chase.
Five minutes until the break, Lukáč superbly denied Corrigan as Ben Lloyd found the Tractor Boy who hit a pinpoint header at goal.
Williams’ boys were unable to add to Matondo’s 11th-minute strike in the first-half but were able to boast an advantage at the break.
Wales had a shout for a penalty early in the second half. Michael Svoboda - introduced at the break by the hosts swiped at Matondo in the box but the Cardiff City youngster’s protests were waved away.
The continuous rain didn’t deter Wales from their hopes of a further goal. Stoke City’s Luke Wilson introduced after a raft of substitutes brought a save out of Vincent Gruber.
Throughout the match, Wales were eager to contain possession of the ball and put on a full-heated display which was evident in their tackles.
In the final ten minutes, Norwich City’s Alex Roberts glanced a shot just wide of the goal after a positive passing movement between himself, Charlie Crew and Luke Wilson.
Late on Ladislav Mitro’s driving effort from distance was routinely saved by Camis who had a commanding performance between the sticks for Wales.
Wales were able to withstand a late push from Slovakia to claim victory in the first of two fixtures between the two sides.
Richard Williams' side will take on Slovakia once more on Thursday, which will be streamed by the Slovakian FA.