Women's European Championship Qualifying - Group C
WalesWales0NorwayNorway1

Wales 0-1 Norway: Frida Maanum goal books Norway's place in Euro 2022

By Michael PearlmanBBC Sport Wales at Cardiff City Stadium
Highlights: Wales 0-1 Norway

Wales' hopes of reaching a first major finals suffered a blow as a 1-0 defeat by Norway took qualification out of their hands in the Welsh capital.

A superb rearguard action saw Wales go into the break level at 0-0, but Frida Maanum's firm finish from 20 yards broke the deadlock just past the hour.

Wales showed great fight after the goal and pushed hard for an equaliser with Jess Fishlock shooting just wide.

Wales also had two late penalty appeals waved away on a frustrating evening.

Wales' defeat, while coming after another good display, means Northern Ireland now hold an advantage over them in the race to finish second in Group C, despite losing 6-0 twice to Norway, compared to two 1-0 losses for Wales.

Northern Ireland's 1-0 win in Belarus, coupled with a 0-0 home draw with Wales and a 2-2 draw in Newport, gives Northern Ireland the edge over Jayne Ludlow's side in the event they finish the group level on points, with Northern Ireland edging the head-to-head record on away goals.

For Norway, the win means qualification is now secure.

Ludlow produced a major surprise with her team line-up far more attacking than many would have expected with Kayleigh Green and Helen Ward both starting in attack, ahead of a midfield including both Jess Fishlock and Natasha Harding.

However, the biggest shock was in defence where Elise Hughes started after months on the sidelines after knee surgery in a real baptism of fire against a prolific Norwegian attack.

Norway had scored 33 goals in five qualifying games heading into this one, though they only scored once in Oslo against a stubborn Wales and even that goal came from a goalkeeping mistake by Laura O'Sullivan.

There could be no room for errors if Wales were going to get a positive result and O'Sullivan enjoyed a start to the contest to really boost her confidence. She foiled Elise Thorsnes three times inside the opening 10 minutes, including an excellent diving stop from a firm header.

Possession and a respite from defending with a bank of five players with three midfielders compact in front of them was a rarity for Wales, though Jess Fishlock did have Cecilie Fiskerstrand scrambling in the Norway goal with a fierce 25-yard drive that just missed the upright.

Norway again tested O'Sullivan from Julie Blakstad's mishit cross before Blakstad blazed a good chance over the crossbar from close range on 34 minutes.

However, tactically it was a dream first half for Wales, who frustrated a Norwegian side that instantly got back on the front foot after the interval with Karina Saevik testing O'Sullivan from close range before Ingrid Wold fired over just before the hour mark.

It was moments later that Wales were finally breached and they'll be disappointed to have contributed to their own downfall with Kayleigh Green overrunning the ball and Hughes unable to make the interception as Thorsnes shielded the ball and Maanum fired home from 20-yards.

Blakstad fired wide as Norway looked to make the game safe, but Wales finished strongly with chances of their own as they pushed and pushed to equalise.

Fishlock came closest, firing just wide through a crowded box while Wales saw two penalty appeals waved away by referee Irina Mirt.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Tuesday 27th 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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