Wales Women suffered a 5-0 defeat against the Netherlands in their final friendly before beginning their FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifying Campaign in September.
NETHERLANDS 5 - 0 WALES
- International Friendly Match
- Sparta Stadion, Rotterdam
- Saturday 8 July 2017
- FAWTV reaction: http://bit.ly/2ttvjZW
Wales started strong with an early attempt at goal from midfielder Angharad James with an early shot at goal but it was into the hands of the Netherlands keeper.
James' efforts were quickly followed with a close Netherlands corner but it was a great save from the Wales keeper, Laura O'Sullivan.
Netherlands were quick to retaliate with a goal on the 12th minute as Lieke Martens dribbled the ball past the Welsh defence and fired the ball into the corner of the net.
Gemma Evans, Sophie Ingle and Hayley Ladd held up until Netherlands striker Daniella Van der Done extended their lead on the 30th minute, bringing the score 2-0 at half-time.
After the break, Wales' Nadia Lawrence cleared a threatening cross from Liverpool forward Shanice van de Sanden on the 46th minute followed by another great save from Laura O'Sullivan.
But Netherlands were hungry for a third as Shanice van de Sanden provided another cross into the box allowing Vivianne Miedema to head into the back of the net, 3-0.
Jayne Ludlow took the opportunity in the later part of the second half to bring on Wales youngsters Ffion Morgan, Bronwen Thomas and Hannah Miles.
Netherlands forward Vivianne Miedema achieved her second goal of the evening bringing the score 4-0 on the 76th minute before the Netherlands captain, Mandy Van den Berg brought the game to a close with the fifth and final goal.
Wales Women's Manager, Jayne Ludlow commented on the performance "our main aim was to come and compete against top level opposition, which over the last year we haven’t had the chance to do on a friendly basis. We did well in our last games in Portugal.
"The Netherlands are obviously building for a major competition next week. We took this chance to come and test ourselves and there is work we need to do. For us, there are lots of positives to take from the game with regards to how well the girls have competed in certain areas.
We were always going to be up against things physically to come and compete against this team at this time of year. Is that an excuse, no. There are things we could have done far better and we’ve shown we can do better in the past."
Rotterdam will be one of seven stadiums selected to host the UEFA Women's Euro 2017 Finals in the Netherlands, providing a fantastic opportunity for Jayne Ludlow's young squad. "This is where to girls want to get to" said Ludlow.
"Right now, this is the ony way they can experience that. It’s taking the chance to come and play these games and help others build for a major competition. For us, this is helping us build towards the World Cup.
"We’re going to be playing teams of this calibre in the next year and we have to make sure that things that didn’t go right for us today, go right for us on the day when we need them to."
This will turn out to be a positive. We needed this at this moment in our development. We aren’t where we need to be but we’ll get there in the next couple of years.
Jayne Ludlow will select a younger squad made up of youth national team players for tomorrow's B International fixture against the Netherlands at KNVB Campus in Zeist. "We have a mix of our younger age groups in the B international tomorrow. It’ll be a great chance to see who is ready to compete at this level, some of them stepped onto the pitch today in the second half and they competed extremly well" said Ludlow.
"We have crops of younger players in our under-17s and under-19s national team who are capable of competing at this level. We have to give them the experience and the time to develop and learn.
Five current members of the Wales Women's squad have come through the FAW Academy at College y Cymoedd. "The pleasing thing about our FAW Academy that we set up a few years ago, is that it’s working from a developmental point of view" said Ludlow.
"The girls that have been there for a year or two and they are getting signed on professional and semi-professional contracts. That is what it was developed for and our programs are all about developing players to the next level.
"This will turn out to be a positive. We needed this at this moment in our development. We aren’t where we need to be but we’ll get there in the next couple of years."
Wales start their 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying campaign away to Kazakhstan in September before taking on Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as rivals England in their remaining Group 1 fixtures.
Jayne Ludlow reacts to Netherlands defeat