Live Match Hub: Cymru vs Belarus
International
29 November 2020

Live Match Hub: Cymru vs Belarus

INGLE DETERMINED TO END CAMPAIGN ON A HIGH

30 November 20206:47pm

Despite the disappointment that a play-off place is no longer in Cymru's own hands, captain Sophie Ingle is focused on ending the campaign with a positive result against Belarus.

"There's obviously still a little bit of hope," explained Ingle to the media earlier today. "But we have to be realistic with regard to who Northern Ireland are playing. We just have to focus on ourselves and make sure we end this campaign on a high, and also put in a good performance and get the win to end the year.

"We always want to end on a high, but we have to prepare and make sure we're ready for the next campaign. In possession we have to be better, it doesn't matter who we play, as we know we can improve that part of our game. Defensively we want to strong and we have made mistakes in that area, so hopefully we will get a lot of the ball on Tuesday and that we can be defensively solid as well."

Meanwhile, Natasha Harding confirmed that she remains committed to playing for her country ahead of the next campaign. "I have no intention of retiring," she explained. "It will be hard but I do believe these players deserve to be on a major stage.

"Right now we are disappointed and we know we could have got out of this group, but we have to dust ourselves off and go again. Tomorrow is the start of the next two years, and if Jayne is listening, I'm still available. If you're playing really well it shouldn't matter how old you are."

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LUDLOW PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

30 November 20206:26pm

Manager Jayne Ludlow spoke to the media earlier today and admitted that she would be 'amazed' if the Faroe Islands achieved a shock result against Northern Ireland.

"We could get a play-off spot, but is it likely?" said Ludlow. "I'd love to hold out a slight bit of hope that that's going to happen but I would be amazed. To be fair to the Faroe Islands, they were harder to beat the last time we played them, they were more organised. But I would be amazed if that happens."

Cymru take on Belarus in bring the UEFA Women's EURO 2022 to a close on Tuesday, but even a victory will not be enough for the side to claim a play-off place if Northern Ireland beat the Faroe Islands in Belfast.

"We're planning for the future either way, but if we can hold out on the hope of a play-off in April then great, but I think it would be a massive shock if Northern Ireland don't get that result. Our setup will be to win the game, so we will hopefully get the result.

"We had the disappointment of not getting that point against Norway, so we have to get on with things now and attack the future. We have to grow in certain areas and the players we have understand their responsibilities in that. At times it can be too much responsibility in comparison with other nations.

"We challenge them to learn different roles to cover different areas, but the young players now are closer than they ever have been to filling those positions and starting matches. But we still have a crop of older players who are still very competitive too. We've been bringing players through for the last four or five years but we have to give them the time and room to develop."

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MORGAN HAPPY TO BE MENTORED BY THE BEST

30 November 202012:02pm

Ffion Morgan believes success is not far away for Cymru ahead of the final UEFA Women's EURO qualifier against Belarus on Tuesday.

The Crystal Palace defender has been involved in the senior squad since 2017 having also represented her country at U17 and U19 level, and the popular 20-year old is keen to learn from the experienced figures in the squad as she looks to establish herself in the national team.

"I'm lucky to be coming into the squad now when things are being put in place for us to qualify for a major tournament," Morgan explained. "Just watching the more experienced players in training, as a young player there's a responsibility on me to watch their habits and learn from that. They're very professional around this environment and it's up to me to carry that on as I become a more experienced player."

Qualification is now out of Cymru hands following Northern Ireland's win over Belarus last week, and the only hope for Jayne Ludlow's side now is that the Faroe Irelands claim a surprise result in Belfast in the other match on Tuesday while ensuring Cymru claim maximum points against Belarus.

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WOODHAM AND WALTERS READY FOR MORE

30 November 20208:44am

Lily Woodham and Georgia Walters both made their senior international debuts in the recent 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands, and both players spoke to the media this week about their Cymru ambitions.

"It's great to be back with the girls and to see some new faces," said Woodham. "It's been really enjoyable. I've been trying to perform at club level and get some more minutes in the tank. I need to keep learning and to keep getting more and more minutes. We're really focused on the game on Tuesday, the girls are working hard and it's great for me to learn from the experienced girls here."

In addition to making her debut, 20-year old Woodham of Reading also scored in the victory. "The goal was a massive boost for me and it was an amazing achievement," she added. "It's made me believe that I can push for a starting place for both club and country."

Walters also made her international debut from the bench in the win, but for the 27-year old Blackburn Rovers striker that first cap has been a long time coming. Having been involved in the senior squad a few years ago, Walters admits that she may not have been ready for the international stage at that point in her career, but she is now ready to embrace the challenge.

"I'm always grateful to be a part of the squad and I'm always itching to get on the pitch," she explained. "There's a mix of youth and experience which we need going forward, and it's an exciting future. Everyone offers their experience and it's good to lean on and learn from the players that play in my position, and everyone is always willing to help. You couldn't ask for a better squad."

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MEET THE REF

29 November 20206:08pm

Désirée Grundbacher will take charge of the UEFA Women's EURO 2022 qualifier between Cymru and Belarus on Tuesday.

The 37-year old from Switzerland has refereed in the UEFA Women's Champions League since 2016, and has already taken charge of two fixtures in this EURO qualifying campaign. Grundbacher refereed Iceland's 9-0 win over Latvia in September 2019 and the 3-2 win for the Republic of Ireland over Ukraine the following month.

Linda Schmid and Belinda Brem are the assistant referees while Laura Mauricio is the fourth official. All of the officials are from Switzerland.

PREPARATIONS CONTINUE

29 November 20205:37pm

The Cymru squad were back on the training ground earlier today as preparations continued for the final UEFA Women's EURO 2022 qualifier against Belarus in Newport on Tuesday.

A goal from Rachel Rowe earned Cymru a 1-0 win over Belarus in Borisov back in October 2019 when the two sides met earlier in the group, and the side will be desperate to end the campaign on a high with a similar result in the return match.

Here are a few photos from today's training session.

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GROUP C SITUATION

29 November 20204:53pm

A 3-2 victory for Northern Ireland against Belarus on Friday means that Cymru are no longer in control of their qualification hopes as the campaign comes to a close on Tuesday night.

The two teams are level on points but Northern Ireland have the head-to-head advantage over Cymru following the 2-2 draw in Newport and the 0-0 draw in Belfast last year. While Cymru host Belarus in the final match for Jayne Ludlow's side, Northern Ireland take on group minnows the Faroe Islands in Belfast.

"It's completely out of our hands now," said midfielder Angharad James. "It's out of our control. We're just focusing on ourselves and that we finish the campaign in a positive matter with three points. It's about building and getting ready for what happens next, whether that's for the play-offs or for the next campaign. We have to remain professional in everything we do."

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SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT

29 November 20204:42pm

Jayne Ludlow has again named a strong squad for the final match of UEFA Women's EURO 2022 qualifying as the campaign comes to a close against Belarus on Tuesday evening (7.10pm).

Qualification is now out of Cymru hands following Northern Ireland's 3-2 win over Belarus in Belfast on Friday, but the squad are determined to end the campaign with a positive result and hope that Northern Ireland slip up against the Faroe Islands.

"We're just concentrating on what we have to do and beat Belarus," explained captain Sophie Ingle. "We're just focusing on ourselves. We still want to put in a good performance and end the campaign on a high.

"We're pretty level-headed as a team. We know it's going to be a tough game on Tuesday as Belarus have a lot of strengths."

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Cymru play Belarus in their final EURO qualifier against Belarus in Newport on Tuesday, 1 December. The match will be live on BBC Two Wales with coverage starting at 7:00pm. 

Before the game, keep checking this Live Match Hub for the latest information from camp and coverage across social media.