Wales youngsters grab win

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Wales' youngsters grew up in front of boss John Toshack's eyes to beat Azerbaijan 1-0 and claim their first away win in this World Cup Group Four qualifier.

Toshack had been shorn of 10 senior players for this long trip to the shores of the Caspian sea and he must have had doubts in the back of his mind that this bunch of raw youngsters could handle an occasion like this.

However, Wolves midfielder David Edwards scored what proved to be the eventual winner in the first half and from then on he and his team-mates battled for every inch to produce a victory.

Azerbaijan may not be a major power but they are hard, physical and experienced, and the Wales boys brigade stood up to the task.

Azerbaijan had plenty of the ball and were being roared on by a partisan crowd but at least Wales were being helped by the fact that the 90 degree temperatures they had experienced all week had been replaced by a cloudy windy night.

Simon Church was presented with a good opening when he latched onto a bad square pass from Vladimir Levin and set off towards goal only to be stopped by a desperate saving tackle from Rashad Sadigov.

Robert Earnshaw was involved with brave running and a cross from the right when Wales took the lead three minutes from the break. Veliyev crunched the ball out, with it hitting Church and rebounding for Edwards to fire home.

Azerbaijan brought on Branimir Subasic for Ramin at the break and then Javid Huseynov for Nabiyev soon after the restart and the hosts were putting Wales under constant aerial pressure. Wayne Hennessey made a good save at his post to keep out a Subasic effort.

The pressure continued, and Hennessey saved well again after 76 minutes pushing Huseynov's header wide.

Hennessey was booked for time wasting but Wales were hanging on and they full deserved their victory after a performance that gives Toshack plenty to work with in the future.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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David Edwards
Robert Earnshaw
Wayne Hennessey
John Toshack
Simon Church
Wolverhampton Wanderers

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