First Euro Qualifying Campaign Defeat for Ludlow's Cymru
International
22 September 2020

First Euro Qualifying Campaign Defeat for Ludlow's Cymru

A first half goal from Guro Reiten was the only difference in a closely contested match in Oslo, with Norway securing a 1-0 victory over Cymru.

Cymru started the match on the front foot with Jess Fishlock looking comfortable in her first match in a Welsh shirt for 18 months after recovering from an ACL injury. She looked to exploit Fiskerstrand from the outset, testing the Norwegian goalkeeper with a powerful long-range shot which lead to Cymru’s first corner.

However, Norway soon settled into the match and started piling on the pressure. After 28 minutes the home team had a breakthrough from their third successive short corner, with Guro Reiten curling it into the top left-hand corner, beyond the hand of O’Sullivan.

At this point however Cymru were very much still in the game, with Green testing Fiskerstrand from long range as she was off her line, but the shot went wide.

Despite the setback, Cymru ended the first half having enjoyed the majority of possession against the group favourites.

At the start of the second half, Cymru started brightly, just as they did the first, with Natasha Harding breaking along the right flank with a shot that beat the keeper but floated just over the bar.

Both Reiten and Graham Hansen proved a handful to the Welsh defence but O’Sullivan produced a great block to deny Graham Hansen from close range 10 minutes into the second half. Graham Hansen’s great strike from outside the box found the back of the net a few minutes later before being ruled out for off-side.

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Roberts created another chance for Kayleigh Green with 20 minutes to go, with a great cross into the box but Fiskerstrand stood firm in the Norwegian net.

Helen Ward replaced Anna Filbey with 10 minutes to go and the record goalscorer provided an extra attacking boost in the closing stages of the match. Rhiannon Roberts linked up well with Ward along the right-hand side and pressed on for the equaliser. Despite two corners for Wales in the final 5 minutes, the Norwegian defence stayed strong, blocking shots by Rowe and Ingle to keep their clean sheet.

Cymru remain in second place in group C and Jayne Ludlow will take heart from her team’s performance against the group favourites. With three home matches to go in this campaign, Cymru will face the Faroe Islands and Norway once again next month.

Cymru: O'Sullivan, Filbey, Ingle (c), Roberts, J.Green, Fishlock, James, K.Green, Harding, Rowe, Ladd. Subs: Ward, Skinner, Evans, Hughes, Estcourt, Francis-Jones, Lawrence, Woodham, Jones.

Norway: Fiskerstrand, Wold, Thorisdottir, Mjelde (C), Bøe Risa, Graham Hansen, Utland, Syrstad Engen, Eikeland, Reiten, Minde. Subs: Pettersen, Norstrøm, Hansen, Woldvik, Thorsnes, Ildhusøy, Åsland, Maanum, Jensen, Haavi, Sævik, Blakstad