Author: Dafydd Jones
Publisher: Y Clwb Pêl Droed
A disciplined showing wasn’t enough for Wales, as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Norway at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Jayne Ludlow’s side competed well for large parts of the game, but Frida Maanum’s second-half strike was the difference between the two sides.
Here’s a look at what we learned from an agonising Wales defeat:
Solid at the back
The performance was typical of Jayne Ludlow’s reign. Wales were organised, disciplined and frustrated Norway for large parts of the game.
Martin Sjögren’s side’s star player, Caroline Graham Hansen, was reduced to half-chances, with Wales defenders getting their bodies in the way of Norwegian efforts at goal.
It seemed as though it would take a goal of quality to break the deadlock, and Frida Maanum’s strike from the edge of the box was exactly that.
Despite the defeat, Wales can take encouragement from the defensive showing.
Laura O’Sullivan hugely important
Norway came out of the blocks very quickly and created a flurry of opportunities early-on.
Wales goalkeeper, Laura O’Sullivan was exemplary throughout and kept Jayne Ludlow’s side in the game, making numerous saves.
The shot-stopper could do nothing about the Norway goal, with Maanum’s strike firmly in the corner.
On a frustrating night for Wales, O’Sullivan’s performance was certainly a highlight.
Punished for not taking chances
Against a strong Norway side, Wales were reduced to just a few chances throughout the game, but Fishlock’s second-half opportunity was a key moment.
Angharad James squared the ball in the box for the midfielder, whose effort was agonisingly wide.
With chances hard to come by, it was paramount that Wales capitalised when they came and it was a clinical finish that separated the two sides.
Positive response to falling behind
After Frida Maanum’s opener, Wales responded very well and created a string of opportunities to equalise.
Along with Fishlock’s chance, Angharad James found herself in acres of space to drive at the Norway defence, only to fire straight at goalkeeper Cecilie Fiskerstrand.
Wales opened up the game and went with an attacking approach once behind, forcing a positive spell late in the second-half.
(Featured Image: Dafydd Jones)