Author: Lewis Sharpe
Publisher: Y Clwb Pêl Droed
Wales increased their gap at second-place in their group by securing all three points at home in a must-win Euro 2021 qualifying tie.
Goals from Helen Ward and Lily Woodham as well as a Natasha Harding brace mean Wales emphatically edge closer to qualifying.
A nine-minute spell in the second-half saw the hosts increase their advantage by one to four to ensure the win for Ludlow’s side.
Early pressure from Wales resulted in the first chance of the game falling to Harding. The Reading-midfielder’s shot from outside the area was blocked.
Kayleigh Green came close to breaking the deadlock in the ninth minute when the striker was found by a ball from the left-hand-side, only for her lofting header to go narrowly over the crossbar.
In an almost identical chance, Angharad James was unfortunate just one minute later when her headed attempt was too high.
Harding was next to come close with her head as another cross from the left fell perfectly into her stride but she nodded just wide of the post.
Chance creating wasn’t the issue early on for Wales as a cross from the right-hand-side in the 19th minute was met by Ward at the back post, only for another header to go over the crossbar.
Wales’ next chance fell to James, this time with her right foot. Her curled effort after cutting in from the left was parried away by Óluva Joensen.
The hosts were rewarded for their early dominance in the 33rd minute when Fishlock played Ward through on goal and the latter slotted home with her left foot.
Two minutes later, Wales almost doubled their lead when Gemma Evans delivered a low-driven cross into the path of Green whose well-struck effort rattled the crossbar.
Towards the end of the first half, the hosts had two penalty shouts – both of which for alleged handballs from corner-kicks.
Kayleigh Green nearly started the second half perfectly when her one-one-one attempt tested Joensen who saved at her near post.
Left-back Evans continued her lively start in the second half. Her energy and crossing ability massively helped the home side throughout.
Harding finally doubled the lead in the 58th minute as she was first to react to a loose ball in the box before firing a low effort with her left foot into the bottom corner.
The Reading midfielder then doubled her tally just four minutes later as she was picked out by a Rhiannon Roberts cross before getting the final touch and making it three.
It seemed Wales found their rhythm around this point as they extended their lead further in the 67thminute. Roberts provided again as Lily Woodham headed home to score her first international goal.
Roberts almost became converter in the 81st minute when her shot from the right almost caught Joensen out at her front post but the goalkeeper recovered well to save.
Hayley Ladd had a free-kick attempt smash off the woodwork two minutes later, causing a goal-mouth scramble which saw Georgia Walters have a close-range effort denied before the ball rolled out kindly to Kylie Nolan whose attempt fired over the crossbar.
Wales: Laura O’Sullivan, Gemma Evans, Sophie Ingle (C), Rhiannon Roberts, Helen Ward (Kylie Nolan 62’), Angharad James, Kayleigh Green (Lily Woodham 62’), Jessica Fishlock (Josephine Green 45’), Natasha Harding (Georgia Walters 62’), Hayley Ladd, Nadia Lawrence (Rachel Rowe 53’).
Goals: Helen Ward (33’), Natasha Harding (58’, 61’), Lily Woodham (67’)
Faroe Islands: Óluva Joensen, Elisabeth Vang, Birita Ryan, Heidi Sevdal, Ásla Johannesen (C), Kára Djurhuus (Sarita Maria Mittfoss 88’), Olga Kristina Hansen (Mona Rasmusdóttir 79’), Jensa Kannuberg Tórolvsdóttir (Evi Á Lakjuni 70’), Sanna Jacobsen (Marita Á Frídriksmørk 88’), Sara Samson Lamhauge (Lea Lisberg 79’), Jacoba Langgaard.
(Featured Image: Lewis Sharpe)