The pre-match scene in the Wales under-21 dressing room at Bangor FC.

Nine-Man Romania Hold On Against Rampant Wales

Wales had to settle for a draw against nine-man Romania in the Uefa Under-21 Championship clash at Bangor University Stadium.

Romania, unbeaten leaders of group eight, had two players sent off during the second half, but the visitors held out for a goalless draw.

“We created enough chances to have won the match and it’s disappointing we didn’t score, but I am pleased at the way every player responded after the defeat against Bosnia in our last fixture,” said manager Robert Page.

Captain Joe Rodon was ruled out of the Welsh team by injury and Chris Mepham, an impressive defender against Bosnia last week and Romania, wore the armband.

Manchester City’s Rabbi Matondo was sent on in the closing stages when Wales manager Robert Page as looking for him to use his pace and creativity to open up Romania.

Romania’s team had a higher average age than Wales, who had Ben Woodbury, Ethan Ampadu and David Brooks in the senior team against Panama.

Wales went close after 54 minutes when, following good work by Mark Harris, left-back Rhys Norrington-Davies powered forward. The Aberystwyth Academy product whipped in a magnificent cross and Harry Wilson looked certain to score, but scooped his effort just wide.

It was a sharp chance, but Wales were desperately disappointed to see that effort fly wide.

Cameron Coxe went close when he timed his run down the right perfectly and fired in a cross which looked a touch too high. The ball dipped at the last second and bounced off the crossbar.

Wales were upping the tempo and producing an excellence performance and Romania were throwing themselves to the ground in a bid to get home players booked.

That worked against them, though, with the German referee taking action. Razvan Marin, who plays for Belgian club Standard Liege and has nine full international caps for Romania, was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

He threw himself to the ground and Bastian Daulert produced yellow and then red cars after 73 minutes.

The Romanians were reduced to nine players with just under 10 minutes left when George Puscas clashed with Jack Evans.

The Welshman clearly held Puscas back and was booked, while Puscas was guilty of flinging an elbow into Evans’ face and earned himself a second booking. Puscas then went head-to-head with Evans in front of the referee before going off.

Group eight leaders Romania were rocking against a spirited Welsh team display, but they kept trying to get forward.

Wales created chances with Harry Wilson and Tyler Roberts key players in attack, while Norrington-Davies, Coxe and Evans were all outstanding for Wales.

Goalkeeper Luke Pilling was safe and sure throughout a hard fought match watched by a near capacity 1,000-plus spectators in Bangor.

The draw means Wales are fourth with seven points from five matches in this group. They are halfway through their group fixtures and stand five points behind leaders Romania with a game in hand.

Portugal, who defeated Switzerland 2-1 in the other group eight fixture played on Tuesday, are on seven points from four matches in third place.

Bosnia are second on nine points from five fixtures.

Wales under-21 (4-2-3-1): Luke Pilling, Cameron Coxe, Chris Mepham (capt), Cian Harris, Rhys Norrington-Davies, Regan Poole, Jack Evans (Matthew Smith 90), George Thomas, Harry Wilson, Mark Harris (Rabbi Matondo 80), Tyler Roberts. Subs not used: Owen Evans, Cole DaSilva, Joseff Morrell, Nathan Broadhead, Alex Babos.

Referee: Bastian Daulert (Germany).

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