Cymru produced an emphatic display as they overcame Belarus 3-0 at Rodney Parade in their final qualifying stage match for the UEFA 2022 European Championships.
Cymru 3-0 Belarus
UEFA Women's EURO 2022 Qualifying Round
- Tuesday, 1 December 2020
- Rodney Parade, Newport
Cymru were in control for the majority of the match and started on the front foot at Newport. Ffion Morgan’s darting run down the right flank into open space saw the full-back deliver a pinpoint cross for Tash Harding, whose header on target was tipped around the post.
However, Harding went one better just minutes later. Captain Jess Fishlock latched onto a ball into the area from Rhiannon Roberts, before she squared for Harding to fire home the opener.
Fishlock proved to be a thorn in the side for Belarus, as she almost set-up the second goal of the night. Her dinked cross into the area from the left side of the box was met by the head of Morgan, who rose between the two centre halves to meet the delivery, but her header rattled the post and was cleared away from danger.
Rachel Rowe doubled Cymru’s lead with the best piece of magic of the evening after 33 minutes. Rowe played a neat one-two with team-mate Angharad James, and Rowe rifled her effort into the top left corner of the net past the outstretched hand of Belarus shot-stopper Nataliya Voskobovich.
Belarus threatened little during the first period but before the break, Hayley Ladd was alert in her own area to thwart the visitors’ most potent attack with a last ditch tackle.
After the break, Anastasiya Shcherbachenia rattled the crossbar with a powerful free-kick from the edge of the area.
But Cymru responded as they knew best. Harding turned in the area and was brought down by Anastasiya Linnik, earning the home side a penalty. Fishlock tucked away the resulting spot-kick to extend Ludlow’s side’s advantage.
Ludlow made a host of substitutions late on as Cymru eased the match out.
Despite the victory, Cymru finished behind Northern Ireland, who defeated the Faroe Islands 5-1 earlier in the evening, meaning Jayne Ludlow’s side miss out on the play-off spot for the major tournament.
A bittersweet night for Ludlow and her side, but a performance to be proud of as Cymru saw the qualifying stage out with a performance to remember.
Cymru: 1. Laura O’Sullivan, 2. Ffion Morgan (22. Georgia Walters 80’) , 4. Sophie Ingle, 5. Rhiannon Roberts, 6. Josie Green, 8. Angharad James, 10. Jess Fishlock (3. Gemma Evans 85’), 11. Natasha Harding (17. Nadia Lawrence 85’), 13. Rachel Rowe (9. Kayleigh Green 85’), 14. Hayley Ladd, 16. Charlie Estcourt (19. Lily Woodham 70’)
Subs not used: 12. Claire Skinner, 21. Poppy Soper, 7. Helen Ward, 15. Elise Hughes, 18. Kylie Nolan, 20. Carrie Jones, 23. Chloe Williams.
Goals: Harding 15', Rowe 34', Fishlock (p) 72'
Belarus: 1. Nataliya Voskobovich, 3. Anastasiya Linnik, 5. Anastasiya Shcherbachenia, 6. Anastasiya Novikova, 8. Viktoriya Kazakevich, 9. Anna Kozyupa, 14. Karina Olikhovik (17. Tatyana Krasnova 25’), 15. Anastasiya Shuppo, 16. Valeryia Bohdan, 20. Kseniya Kubichnaya (4. Anastasiya Shlapakova 46’), 23. Anna Pilipenko
Subs not used: 12. Ekaterina Miklashevich, 22. Ekaterina Kovalchuk, 7. Anna Sas, 10. Anastasiya Pobegaylo, 11. Milana Surovtseva, 13. Anastasiya Kharlanova, 18. Vita Nikolaenko, 19. Valeria Karachun