Wales Women end goal drought with dramatic late winner

New Zealand’s Abby Erceg competes for the ball with Wales goalscorer Kayleigh Green. (Photo: Duncan Thomas/Majestic Media)

Striker Kayleigh Green struck in added-time as Wales ended nearly a year without a goal, defeating New Zealand 1-0 in front of a crowd of 2,011 at Leckwith Stadium. 

The hosts might have been behind at the interval but Laura O’Sullivan got down to save a Sarah Gregorious penalty.

The last chance of the half saw Sophie Ingle shoot on target from 20 yards but goalkeeper Erin Nayler caught it comfortably.

In the second half, Rosie White clipped the bar and Katie Bowen also went close for the visitors, while Green and Emma Jones tested Nayler at the other end.

Then in stoppage-time Green beat the keeper to a ball headed back across the box to find the net.

Wales’ Helen Ward about to get a shot on goal as New Zealand’s Anna Green closes in.. (Duncan Thomas/Majestic Media)

Manager Jayne Ludlow told 

“It was a great test for us and we’re thankful they wanted to play us. We created chances, and the most important and pleasing thing was the intensity we had at the end of the game.

“Having players to come off the bench and make an impact is something that every team wants and the challenge for the players is one they’ve taken on. Reality for us is that everyone in the squad has two positions.

“We’ve beaten a team who are heading to the World Cup, and it was a test that we needed right now. 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.”

Wales: O’Sullivan, Dykes, Gemma Evans, Ingle (c), Roberts, Hughes (Nolan, 60), Ward (Jones, 60), Estcourt (Wynne, 83), Green, Harding, Ladd. 

Unused subs:, Clark, Filbey, Lloyd, Woodham, Powell, Georgia Evans.

New Zealand: Nayler, Percival (Hassett, 58), Green, Stott, Riley (c), Erceg, Longo (Satchell, 83), Gregorious (Kete, 73), Bowen, Wilkinson (White, 45), Chance.

Unused subs: Bott, Moore, Morton, Duncan, Skilton, Cleverly, Esson, Olla.

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