Saints duo to face off in Euro showdown

SOUTHAMPTON duo David Brooks and Jan Bednarek will face each other for a place in Euro 2024 when Wales play Poland on March 26th.

Saints loanee Brooks got his side off to a flying start on their way to 4-1 play-off Group A win over Finland in Cardiff.

The 26-year-old volleyed the hosts ahead in the third minute after Harry Wilson’s shot was saved by Lukas Hradecky.

Neco Williams’ free-kick doubled the lead in the 38th minute, before Teemu Pukki gave Finland hope by netting on the stroke of half-time.

Tottenham’s Brennan Johnson tapped in from close range shortly into the second half, before substitute Dan James made sure of the win in the 86th minute.

Brooks’ early goal eased any pre-game nerves for the Welsh faithful – but after a fantastic start, Finland controlled possession throughout the first half, but were wasteful with their chances.

Williams’ free-kick fizzed into the net and looked to have given Wales the buffer that they needed.

However, Pukki got on the end of Joel Pohjanpalo’s pass to fire past Danny Ward and breathe life into the fixture.

Any Welsh fans that were feeling nervous again at half-time had nothing to worry about though, as Wilson’s free-kick was helped on by Ethan Ampadu and Brooks before Johnson tapped in the third.

Wales were denied a fourth goal, as Ben Davies’ goal was disallowed by the video assistant referee due to Joe Rodon blocking Hradecky’s view.

James bagged the fourth when he dispossessed Miro Tenho, before rounding Hradecky and sliding the ball into an empty net.

Meanwhile, Southampton defender Bednarek helped his country to a comfortable 5-1 win over Estonia to set up the clash with Wales.

If Wales progress past Poland, it will be their third successive appearance at the European Championships.