Wales 3-0 Russia – Kayleigh Green the hero again as Wales take top spot
Wales took one step closer to qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in France as they saw off third-placed Russia.
Jayne Ludlow’s side moves to the top of the group, with their next game against neighbours England in August. England has both Wales and Kazakhstan left.
Two goals from Yeovil Town’s Kayleigh Green and a singular goal from Reading’s Natasha Harding, all in the second half put Wales on their way to victory.
They are still yet to concede in World Cup qualifying, with seven games played and seven clean sheets recorded.
It wasn’t until the second half that Wales came to life, but after finding their goal early on, they looked in complete control.
Sophie Ingle launched a free-kick into the box which Helen Ward flicked on, but it went behind Elvira Todua’s goal.
Elena Danilova had a chance on the half-hour mark, lining up a powerful shot for distance but her shot went the other side of the post.
Wales went closest when Kayleigh Green’s cross fell to Natasha Harding, but Anna Belomyttseva blocked her goal-bound effort with a headed clearance.
After the half-time interval, Wales came out with all guns blazing. Rachel Rowe put a cross in, with Green’s initial effort being blocked but she powered the ball home from close range.
Wales almost doubled their lead when Jess Fishlock hit a powerful volley from 35-yards out, forcing Todua to stretch and palm it away.
Helen Ward and Kayleigh Green exchanged a number of passes before Ward played a ball over to Green and she chipped the ball over the keeper, to double Wales’ lead.
Wales were in dreamland when they made it three. Two-goals Kayleigh Green played a delicate ball to Harding who took it into the box, with the keeper initially denying her. She tucked her shot away on the rebound, hitting it into the left-hand corner.
Wales who were protecting a possible seventh clean sheet had to defend a number of shots from the Russians towards the end.
Firstly Lipa Yakupova tried to chip O’Sullivan but it sailed over the bar. Elvira Ziyastinova then hit a powerful shot from outside the box, but O’Sullivan was alert to cover the shot.
Green was denied her hat-trick late on, before being substituted for Kylie Nolan. The Yeovil Town frontwoman showed great determination, winning possession in midfield to take the ball into the box. Her shot was saved though by the outstretched leg of Todua.
O’Sullivan, Roberts, Inge, Dykes, Ladd, Harding, James, Rowe, Fishlock, Green (Nolan 92), Ward (Lawrence 86)
Todua, Akimova (Abdullina 33), Belomyttseva, Kozhnikova, Ziyastinova, Smirnova, Pantyukhina, Yakupova, Korovkina, Morozova (Chernomydrina 58), Danilova
(Featured Image: Lewis Mitchell)