Wales Women’s Green sees red in goalless Portugal draw

Kayleigh Green. (Photo: Will Cheshire)

Wales finished their fixtures for 2018 with a 0-0 friendly draw away to Portugal despite Kayleigh Green’s dismissal for two cautions.

Manager Jayne Ludlow made one change from the side that lost to the Portuguese on Saturday, giving Ella Powell her first start for the senior side, reports

Wales started on the backfoot as Portugal piled on the attack from the first minute, with their closest chance forcing captain Sophie Ingle to make a goal-line clearance in her 90th match for her country.

Following Ingle’s clearance Wales settled into the game and cut out several Portuguese threats before they reached the final third. Unable to break through the Welsh defence, Portugal turned to shooting from distance and forced Laura O’Sullivan into a terrific diving safe towards the end of the first half.

Ludlow made several changes in the second half, introducing Rhiannon Roberts and Megan Wynne into the full back roles and an opportunity for Charlie Estcourt, returning from injury after last representing Wales against England in April. Wales became more direct in their attacks, with the Portuguese unable to deal with Wynne’s pace and Angharad James, playing her 70th match, was unlucky not to see one of her through balls set up a clear opportunity as she fed through Helen Ward.

Jayne Ludlow told “We were under pressure from the start but we figured things out and changed our shape to match it. We’ve become a team that’s hard to break down but we have to work now to develop other parts of our game further.”

Despite the pressure increasing on Portugal, a rare opportunity for Francisco Neto’s side saw a zipping free kick from out wide sail across the goalmouth and skim the crossbar.

Wales had to play the final few minutes with ten players after Kayleigh Green received a second booking and despite heavy pressure Ludlow’s side were unable to break through and find a winning goal.

Wales: 1. L O’Sullivan, 2. F Morgan (13. M Wynne 46′), 3. G Evans (5. R Roberts 46′), 4. S Ingle (C), 6. N Lawrence, 14. H Ladd, 8. A James, 10. E Hughes (17. C Estcourt, 61′), 16. E Powell (11. N Harding 30′), 9. K Green, 20. H Ward (11. K Nolan 75′)

Subs not used: 12. C Skinner, 21. O Clarke, 15. Ch Williams, 18. H Miles 19. K Isaac, 22. Ch Williams.