Brennan’s Double Strike For Wales In Polish Success

Wales under-19 team against Poland. Front row L-R: Brandon Cooper, Morgan Boyes, Ben Cabango, captain Ryan Reynolds, Luke Jephcott, goalkeeper Adam Przybek. Back row L-R: Neco Williams, Issak Davies, Jack Vale, Dylan Levitt, Brennan Johnson. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/ Propaganda).

Brennan’s Double Strike For Wales In Polish Success

Brennan Johnson, an English-born teenager who has chosen to play for Wales, underlined his quality during the under-19 international win against Poland.

Johnson, the son of former Jamaica, Ipswich and Nottingham Forest player David, scored two outstanding goals in a 2-0 friendly win against the Poles at Nantporth, Bangor.

Brennan started his international career with England and played at under-16 level, but he has multi-eligibility and opted to make himself available for Wales.

He bagged a brilliant brace for Wales’ Under-19s as manager Paul Bodin’s team powered to an impressive victory against Poland.

Wales’ Brennan Johnson celebrates scoring the first goal from the penalty spot during the Under-19 International friendly against Poland at the VSM Bangor Stadium. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/ Propaganda)

“Poland are tough opposition and this was a good test,” said Bodin. “They came with a 3-5-2 formation and it took us five or six minutes to adjust.

“They caused us one or two problems early, but after that we pretty much dominated.

“Fantastic. credit to the players. We have spent time together, five days coming into this match and five days before the Ireland matches.

“Our players have an understanding. This wasn’t a lucky 2-0 by any stretch and we kept a clean sheet which the defence and goalkeeper will be delighted with, although we defend as a team.

“Our attacking performance looked threatening in all areas. 

“Delighted for Brennan in only his second camp. He scored from a penalty, produced a clinical free-kick finish and could have had another goal.”

Johnson’s first goal was as audacious as they come when he scored a ‘Panenka’ penalty to give Wales the lead.

The ‘Panenka’ – inspired by a Czech player of that name at the 1976 Uefa Championships – is also nicknamed ‘Il cucchiaio’ (the spoon).

Johnson followed Panenka’s lead, chipping his spot-kick softly and high down the middle with the goalkeeper diving.

That came after 27 minutes after Johnson, a player blessed with blistering pace, was fouled in the penalty area.

Cardiff City’s Sion Spence was ruled out of the Wales under-19 squad v Poland because of injury.

Wales were awarded another penalty 10 minutes later and Johnson stepped up again, but this time the ‘keeper was equal to his effort and the number 10 failed prod home the rebound.

Wales went into the interval with a 1-0 lead, but could well have scored more, and in the second half they controlled the game as Poland did their utmost to get back on level terms.

A superb strike from Johnson settled the game. He scored with a lovely free-kick across goal that rattled in off a post, giving goalkeeper Pawel Solok in goal no chance.

Wales weathered an early spell of pressure by the visitors before beginning to take control after quarter of an hour with Johnson, who was in sublime form, shooting from the edge of the penalty area with Sokol producing a superb save.

Isaak Davies tested the opposition ‘keeper as he broke through one-on-one and had it not been from such a tight angle he may have opened the scoring, but Sokol again did well to keep the ball out of his net.

Johnson’s first half penalty put Wales ahead, while his free-kick completed an excellent win.

Manager Paul Bodin used the fixture to help ensure his Welsh players are ready for the Uefa Championship qualifying round fixtures next month.

Wales under-19 manager Paul Bodin. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Wales will host for group four and face San Marino, Scotland and Sweden during November.

Bodin’s Welsh team have also played two friendlies in the Republic of Ireland where the spoils were shared after a 1-0 win and a 2-0 loss. 

Cardiff City’s Sion Spence, who scored the winner during the first match in Dublin, missed the clash with Poland through injury.

Wales under-19 starting line-up: Adam Przybek, Brandon Cooper, Morgan Boyes, Ben Cabango, captain Ryan Reynolds, Luke Jephcott, Neco Williams, Issak Davies, Jack Vale, Dylan Levitt, Brennan Johnson.

Wales under-19 full squad: George Ratcliffe (Cardiff City), Adam Przybek (West Bromwich Albion), Ryan Reynolds (Cardiff City), Jay Foulston (Newport County), Morgan Boyes (Liverpool), Neco Williams (Liverpool), Ryan Astley (Everton), Ben Cabango (Swansea City – on loan with TNS), Brandon Cooper (Swansea City), Dan Griffiths (Cardiff City), Joe Adams (Bury), Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest), Luke Jephcott (Plymouth Argyle), Pablo Martinez (West Bromwich Albion, Isaak Davies (Cardiff City), Jack Vale (Blackburn Rovers), Dylan Levitt (Manchester United), Ryan Stirk (Birmingham City), Sam Bowen (Cardiff City), Lewis Collins (Newport County).

Welsh Uefa under-19 Championship qualifying fixtures next month are:

Wednesday, November 14: Wales v Scotland (Belle View, Rhyl, 5pm)

Saturday, November 17: Wales v Sweden (Nantporth, Bangor, 3pm)

Tuesday, November 20: Wales v San Marino (Nantporth, Bangor, 3pm)

Making progress:

The top two in each group advance to join top seeds Portugal and Germany in the elite round draw on December 6.

In the elite round, played during March, seven teams will qualify to line up alongside hosts Armenia in the finals.

Bye to elite round (March 18-26): Portugal (holders), Germany

Bye to final tournament (July 14-27): Armenia (hosts)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.