Manager Jayne Ludlow says she was pleased with Wales' performance as they ended their Cyprus Cup group matches on a positive note with a goalless draw against the higher-ranked Switzerland.
Switzerland 0-1 Wales
2018 Cyprus Cup
- Monday, 5 March 2018
- GSZ Stadium, Larnace
Ludlow made two changes to the team that lost 3-0 to Italy, opting for youth in the back line in the form of Alice Griffiths and a first cap for Elise Hughes. Both players looked comfortable playing alongside the experienced Loren Dykes and Sophie Ingle, with Switzerland offering very little attacking threat in the opening twenty minutes.
The chance of the first half came for striker Kayleigh Green, running on to a through ball and rounding Swiss keeper Nicole Studer. Studer recovered quickly and stopped Green from rolling the ball into an open net.
With both teams now familiar with the hot conditions, both teams created more chances in the second half. Laura O’Sullivan of Cyncoed Ladies was kept busy in her goal, getting her finger tips to a long-range Swiss shot on the fifty-minute mark. Minutes later she was in action again with an impressive double save before Captain Sophie Ingle cleared the ball off the line as the defence failed to clear.
Wales main attacking threat came from substitutions Melissa Fletcher and Helen Ward. Fletcher drove play forward before playing the ball on to Natasha Harding who dribbled past two players and saw her shot sail past the keeper and hitting the woodwork.
Wales could have scored minutes before the final whistle as Ward ran through the defence but her one on one opportunity which was stopped by Studer.
The shot hit the bar unfortunately but it’s good to get in those positions. To get a draw against a higher ranked team is a great experience for the girls and will really help us in our World Cup qualifying campaign.
The draw means Wales finish Group A in third place due to Switzerland’s better goal difference. With the Swiss ranked joint 17 in the world and Wales ranked 35, Jayne Ludlow says she’s pleased her side matched Switzerland.
“I was really pleased with the performance. We created a few opportunities, so it would have been nice to get the result but I’m happy. Our standards dropped against Italy but we picked up again today, hopefully we can carry that into the final match.”
Wales’ opponents for their final Cyprus Cup match on 7 March will be confirmed once all group matches have been played.
Switzerland: 12 Nicole Studer, 3 Caroline Muller (9 Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic 45’), 4 Rachel Rinast (5 Noelle Maritz 55’), 6 Geraldine Reuteler, 8 Cinzia Zehnder (17 Florijana Ismaili 71’), 10 Ramona Bachmann (11 Lara Dickenmann 45’), 13 Lia Walti (23 Alisha Lehmann 45’), 15 Francesca Calo, 16 Melanie Muller, 20 Thais Hurni, 22 Vanessa Bernauer (19 Eseosa Aigbogun 45’)
Wales: 1 Laura O’Sullivan, 17 Charlie Estcourt, 4 Sophie Ingle, 2 Loren Dykes, 6 Alice Griffiths, 23 Elise Hughes, 13 Rachel Rowe, 8 Angharad James, 10 Jess Fishlock, 7 Natasha Harding (20 Helen Ward 81’), 9 Kayleigh Green (18 Melissa Fletcher 61’)
Yellow cards: R Bachmann 15’, T Hurni 22’, F Calo 55’, A James 80’