Ethan Ampadu came off the bench to help Wales see out a crucial final-day victory and book their place at next summer’s Euro 2020 finals.
The stakes could not have been higher in Cardiff as Ryan Giggs’s side hosted Hungary, who arrived in the Welsh capital one place and one point above their hosts. It was therefore a must-win game for both sides but Wales looked in control from the moment they broke the deadlock after 15 minutes when Aaron Ramsey headed in Gareth Bale’s cross.
Hungary’s best chance came 10 minutes before the break but Crystal Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey somehow kept them at bay. That save proved even more crucial when the Dragons doubled their advantage two minutes after the restart as Ramsey fired in his second of the evening.
Ampadu entered the fray moments later in midfield and set about protecting the clean sheet. The score remained 2-0 and the celebrations at the final whistle were wild as Wales reached only the third major tournament in their history.
Croatia had already completed Euro 2020 qualification, with Mateo Kovacic helping them to a table-topping performance in their group. They hosted Georgia in a friendly in Pula, with Kovacic playing just over an hour in a 2-1 victory.
He left the field with the comeback completed after the visitors took an early lead, with Inter forward Ivan Perisic netting the winner. Mario Pasalic, on loan last season and this term in Serie A, started alongside Kovacic in midfield and was withdrawn after 75 minutes.
Brazil recorded a 3-0 win against South Korea in Abu Dhabi, though Willian remained an unused substitute throughout. Also on the bench for the duration was Michy Batshuayi as Belgium rounded off their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a big 6-1 win over Cyprus. The Red Devils had already secured their place at the finals and end the group stage with 10 wins from 10.
At junior level, a trio of Blues started for England Under-21s as Aidy Boothroyd’s side were beaten in the Netherlands. Marc Guehi partnered Trevoh Chalobah in central defence, while Conor Gallagher lined up in midfield, but a stunning late free-kick condemned the young Lions to a first defeat of the season.
Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood had levelled the scores earlier in the second half. Our defensive duo played the full game, while Gallagher went close to claiming an assist after teeing up his former Chelsea Academy team-mate Rhian Brewster but he headed over. Gallagher was replaced just after the hour mark and Reece James featured for the final 30 minutes. England have won all four of their Euro 2021 qualifiers prior to this friendly.
Tariq Lamptey came off the bench for England Under-20s for the final few minutes as they beat Iceland 3-0 in Wycombe, while Tino Anjorin scored the opener as England Under-19s sealed their passage through to the next stage of Euro 2020 qualification at that age group with a flawless winning record.
Paul Simpson’s side were 4-1 winners over Bosnia & Herzegovina, who were reduced to 10 men just before half-time, with Anjorin firing them in front midway through the first period. Clinton Mola also featured, while Valentino Livramento was an unused substitute.
Thierno Ballo was also among the goals in an incident-packed game between Austria and the Republic of Ireland in Under-19 Euro qualifying. The midfielder struck to give Austria the lead in a match that saw three red cards and ended in a 2-0 victory, which means they advance as group winners with maximum points.
There was less celebration for Armando Broja, who was sent off for Albania’s Under-19 side against their counterparts from Iceland. The young striker picked up two bookings in quick succession with his team 2-1 up. They eventually lost 4-2 and finish bottom of their qualification group after three defeats.
It was a deserved victory for England’s Under-17 team at Solihull Moors as Czech Republic were beaten 2-0 in a friendly international. Levi Colwill played the duration in defence and contributed to a clean sheet.