Ladd: We must learn to break teams down
25 November 2017

Ladd: We must learn to break teams down

Match-winner Hayley Ladd admitted Wales Women must learn to break teams down quicker following Friday's 1-0 victory over Kazakhstan.

The midfielder scored the only goal of the game late on as Wales continued their unbeaten start to World Cup qualifying.

Jayne Ludlow's side dominated for long periods but had to wait until the 83rd minute to break the deadlock as  Ladd's free-kick from the left evaded everyone and flew into the net.

And the Birmingham City Ladies star - who was picked up the Player of the Match award - admitted Wales do need to break opposition teams down quicker at times.

"It's exhilarating to get the three points," she said. "We were probing for the whole 90 minutes so to finally get the goal was a really great feeling.

"It's something we're not too used to, just breaking teams down because we pride ourselves on being very good defensively.

"Breaking teams down and taking the game to the opposition is something we've got to improve on, possibly get on the scoresheet sooner.

“We need to be creative, we need to be fast with our movement, moving the ball quickly."

A contributing factor to Wales’ impressive defensive record, where they've kept a clean sheet in each of their opening three qualifying games, has been goalkeeper Laura O'Sullivan.

"Laura is a brilliant goalkeeper, we have a lot of trust in her," said Ladd. "For a player in defence she was brilliant in the game, she was calm on the ball."

The win keeps Wales top of Group 1 with three games played and there is now a fast turnaround for Jayne Ludlow’s side with an away trip to Zenica ahead of the game against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday.

And with that unbeaten run intact, it very much keeps alive the dreams of making history by being the first Wales Women's side to qualify for a major tournament.

"As soon as we set out for the campaign that was our goal, so each game we try and notch up the points, the long term is that qualification," she said. "To get to the playoffs we would make history for a Welsh team - that in itself is what we're trying to do."

By Jordan Jones