GEORGE Thomas’ last gasp leveller against the Ivory Coast kept alive Wales’ hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the Toulon Tournament.

Thomas put Wales under-20s ahead in the eighth minute and they missed a host of chances before Ivory Coast fought back to lead 2-1 in the second half.

But Thomas’ second with almost the last kick of the match means that the Welsh youngsters, including former Newport County AFC defender Regan Poole, finish second in their group on five points.

The three group winners go through to the semi-finals in the south of France and they will be joined by the best second-placed team.

That is currently Wales after they drew 0-0 with hosts France and beat Bahrain last week before today’s 2-2 draw.

But Rob Page’s team could be bettered by Scotland or Brazil tomorrow night.

Wales took an early lead in Aubagne as Coventry City winger Thomas controlled a high ball from Jack Evans and volleyed past the Ivorian keeper from inside the area on eight minutes.

Page’s team almost doubled their advantage shortly afterwards as Tyler Roberts curled a ball into the box but it was headed away just in front of the line.

And another chance went begging as Nathan Broadhead delivered a free kick to the far post but Daniel James headed over the bar.

Just before the break Thomas set up Broadhead 30 yards from goal, but he fired wide of the right-hand post.

And two minutes into the second half Daniel James crossed for Thomas at the far post but he headed wide.

Ivory Coast went close as Assane Gnoukouri turned in the box before curling wide of the upright.

And they were level on 51 minutes when Christ Tiehi climbed above the Welsh defence to head into the bottom corner from 12 yards out.

Wales were almost back in front immediately as a Daniel James cross was met by Joe Rodon but his header cleared the bar.

But they were made to pay for their profligacy as Ivory Coast took the lead on 63 minutes.

Jean Krasso controlled a cross from the right, turned instantly and placed a half volley into the bottom corner of Luke Pilling’s net from 15 yards out.

James and Thomas both went close in the closing stages but it looked like Wales would be beaten before Thomas slotted home in the third minute of stoppage time to earn a deserved point.