Jayne Ludlow took charge of her first Cymru match back in March 2015 with a narrow 1-0 defeat to France at the Istria Cup tournament in Croatia.
Since then, the team has grown on and off the field, experiencing highs and lows through a time of initial transition that has culminated with the side challenging for a place at the next UEFA Women's EURO that will now take place in 2022.
Goals from Megan Wynne and Nadia Lawrence earned Cymru a 2-0 victory over Estonia at Wrexham back in March this year, but with the current qualifying campaign on hold, our latest series of features takes a look back at five memorable victories since Ludlow was appointed as manager.
You can also relive the famous 3-0 win over Russia from June 2018 on Tuesday, 12th May with the entire game being repeated on Facebook and YouTube channels from 7.30pm.
Cymru 4-0 Kazakhstan
- 26 November 2015
- EURO 2017 Qualifier
Heavy away defeats against Austria and Norway in the opening two games of Jayne Ludlow's first qualifying campaign added to the pressure of taking on Kazakhstan at the New Bridge Meadow Stadium in Haverfordwest. Despite Cymru enjoying the majority of possession, the game remained goalless at half-time, and it took an inspired substitution to ensure that the side would claim maximum points from the match.
Helen Ward replaced Nia Jones at the break, but within minutes of the restart, Natasha Harding opened the scoring to ease the nerves. However, it was Ward who would take the headlines as the striker added to the scoreline on 60 and 62 minutes, and then completed her hat-trick with just seven minutes remaining. Although Kazakhstan were the lowest seeds in the group, it was a symbolic victory for Ludlow and her side, and marked the beginning of a new era after a difficult start to the campaign.
Cymru 3-0 Israel
- 15 September 2016
- EURO 2017 Qualifier
Almost a year after that victory over Kazakhstan, there was a very different look to the side as the new philosophy and vision of the manager became apparent in the performances of the team. Results during the course of the campaign had slowly but steadily improved, and it was Helen Ward who again grabbed the headlines as she scored a brace in the opening half, her sixth and seventh goals of the qualifying campaign.
The scoreline was completed by young substitute Charlie Estcourt, as the talented teenager marked her elevation to the senior team with a superb individual goal. “It was really big for me,” Estcourt told FAW.cymru. “My family were actually there watching the game so that made it extra special. It was just nice to come on and make a big impact to the team in a competitive game. It was a special moment.”
Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-1 Cymru
- 28 November 2017
- 2019 World Cup Qualifier
With seven points from the opening three games of the qualifying campaign, Jayne Ludlow's side were still yet to concede a goal as they made the trip to Zenica to take on Bosnia and Herzegovina. Despite being away from home, the side created chances in the opening half, with Jess Fishlock coming close to opening the scoring but she was denied by a fine save.
Kayleigh Green scored the crucial goal for Cymru after 58 minutes, but it was goalkeeper Laura O'Sullivan who ensured that her side would claim maximum points. After pulling off a string of saves to deny the home side, the shot-stopper then saved a late penalty from Milena Nikolic in the final minutes of the match. The victory kept Cymru at the top of the qualifying group ahead of their next match against England.
Cymru 3-0 Russia
- 12 June 2018
- 2019 World Cup Qualifier
This will be remembered as one of the most complete performances by the side under Jayne Ludlow, as everything came together perfectly at a packed Newport Stadium. Following on from the 0-0 draw against England in April and the 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzeogvina in Swansea a few days before, there was a real momentum and confidence within the side, and their performances and results had generated unparalleled support. During a 20-minute spell in the second half, Kayleigh Green scored twice before Natasha Harding added the third, much to the delight of the capacity crowd.
“It was the best game I've ever played in,” explained defender Loren Dykes to FAW.cymru when reflecting on the victory a couple of months later. “I didn't know what to do after the game! I'm not someone who's very extrovert with my feelings. You don't know when it's going to happen again, and you just want to take it all in and know that nobody can ever take that moment away from you.”
Cymru 1-0 New Zealand
- 4 June 2019
- International Friendly
Although this was only a friendly fixture, New Zealand had claimed a famous 1-0 over England in Brighton a few days earlier, and this was their final warm-up match before they headed to France for the finals of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. The wet weather didn't stop over 2,000 fans coming out to support the side, and their efforts were rewarded as Kayleigh Green scored the only goal of the game in the final minute.
“It was a great test for us and we're thankful they wanted to play us,” said Jayne Ludlow in her post-match press conference. “We created chances, and the most important and pleasing thing was the intensity we had at the end of the game. We've beaten a team who are heading to the World Cup. Clean sheets are a priority for us and we had that again tonight, and if we can take our chances at the other end, then that's a bonus.”