Women's European Championship Qualifying - Group C
WalesWales4Faroe Islands WomenFaroe Islands Women0

Women's Euro 2021 qualifiers: Wales 4-0 Faroe Islands Women

By Michael PearlmanBBC Sport Wales at Rodney Parade
Highlights of Wales' 4-0 victory over the Faroe Islands

Wales coasted to a 4-0 victory over the Faroe Islands that keeps their hopes of reaching a first major finals on track.

A frustrating first period saw Wales miss a host of chances before record scorer Helen Ward broke the deadlock.

A quick-fire brace from Natasha Harding and a debut goal from Lily Woodham after the break made the result safe in a match Wales utterly dominated.

Wales will next face Euro 2021 qualifier group leaders Norway in Cardiff on Tuesday, 27 October.

In a contest in which Wales could afford absolutely no slip-up and where anything less than three points would be seen as a disaster, Jayne Ludlow could hardly have been bolder in her selection.

Wales lined-up with a 4-3-3 formation, but with a huge emphasis on fluidity with Hayley Ladd playing in defence behind Sophie Ingle, who was given licence to dictate the game from midfield.

Helen Ward was also recalled as she looked to add to her record haul of 42 Wales goals.

It meant Wales were able to get plenty of bodies forward against a Faroes side who unsurprisingly came looking to stifle Wales and remain compact with a back four defended by a compact midfield of five with only Heidi Sevdal looking to trouble the Wales defenders.

Jayne Ludlow on Wales' 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands

Wales had taken a 3-0 lead in Torshavn in the reverse fixture inside 15 minutes, but though they created a host of early opportunities, they did not take them in an extremely frustrating first period.

The hosts had a height advantage over the visitors and looked to exploit that with Jess Fishlock and Gemma Evans producing some fantastic crosses that Wales really should have converted.

Both Kayleigh Green and Angharad James headed over tricky chances in the first 10 minutes and on 13 minutes Natasha Harding headed wide after Evans' super centre.

Wales' dominance was clear and Ward twice came close, but saw her first effort saved and then headed just over from close range.

Frustration began to set-in when James blazed over and saw another effort tipped behind by Oluva Joensen.

However, the pressure simply had to pay and Fishlock's smart chip released Ward, who finished emphatically to put Wales ahead on 33 minutes.

The relief was palpable and Green then struck the underside of the crossbar with another fierce effort, while Harding saw an effort blocked and Joensen was forced to tip a miss-hit Evans cross onto the bar.

Natasha Harding's second goal
Natasha Harding scored five goals against the Faroe Islands in 150 minutes of qualifying action

Wales were so comfortable they were able to replace their record appearance-maker Fishlock at half time with an eye on the Norway match and Green almost doubled their lead just after the restart, but Joensen smothered.

The second goal duly arrived just before the hour when the ball fell kindly to Harding. who swept home left-footed to bag her fourth goal against the Faroes in this campaign, before steering in from close-range just moments later to make the points safe.

The advantage was big enough at 3-0 for Ludlow to hand debuts to Lily Woodham and Georgia Walters and Woodham scored with almost her first touch as she powered a header past Joensen as Wales scored three times in nine minutes.

Wales seemed certain to find a fifth when Ladd's freekick struck the woodwork, but somehow Wales failed to convert the rebound with Rhiannon Roberts hitting the crossbar.

The hosts again struck the woodwork when Joensen brilliantly tipped onto the bar to deny substitute Kylie Nolan with the Faroes goalkeeper emerging from the match with tremendous credit for keeping the score to only four.

Wales manager Jayne Ludlow told BBC Wales Sport:

"I am happy with the game overall but we started slower than I would have liked, ideally we would have put a few of those early chances away.

"Thankfully though the girls stuck to their task and created far more opportunities and stuck them away, so I am really pleased.

"There were quite a few stand-out performances and as a coaching staff we were happy to be able to get five substitutes involved as well.

"It is all a positive ahead of an even bigger game coming up."

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 22nd October 2020

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Netherlands66002832518
2Russia430110289
3Slovenia Women6303171079
4Kosovo Women5203414-106
5Estonia Women4013113-121
6Turkey Women5014119-181

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Italy66001921718
2Denmark55002902915
3Bos-Herze Wom7502168815
4Israel Women6114811-34
5Malta Women7115522-174
6Georgia Women7007236-340

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norway44003213112
2Wales42209278
3Belarus Women310278-13
4N Ireland Wom4022214-122
5Faroe Islands Women3003025-250

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland Women3210100107
2Spain32109187
3Czech Rep Wom320112576
4Moldova Women3102313-103
5Azerbaijan Women4004116-150

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Finland Women43101621410
2Scotland2200130136
3Portugal21102114
4Albania Women5104317-143
5Cyprus Women3003014-140

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sweden3300161159
2Iceland3300111109
3Hungary Women411259-44
4Slovakia Women411229-74
5Latvia Women4004216-140

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Austria44001601612
2Serbia Women530217899
3France22009096
4North Macedonia Women5104521-163
5Kazakhstan Women4004119-180

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium44001721512
2Switzerland44001501512
3Romania Women310237-43
4Croatia Women4103413-93
5Lithuania Women5005118-170

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1R. of Ireland Wom5410103713
2Germany44003103112
3Greece Women411257-24
4Ukraine Women3003219-170
5Montenegro Women4004019-190
View full Women's European Championship Qualifying tables

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