#WEURO2021 Qualifiers: Harding hits hat-trick for Wales Women

Natasha Harding hit a hat-trick for Wales
Natasha Harding scored three times for Wales, won a penalty and forced an own goal. (Photo: Will Cheshire)

The qualifying groups for the 2021 UEFA Women’s European Championships began on Thursday and included a 6-0 win for Wales in the Faroe Islands.

Jayne Ludlow’s side were off to a great start with two goals in the first 5 minutes or so. Natasha Harding celebrated her new captaincy of Reading by heading home a Rhiannon Roberts’ cross and then Emma Jones cut in to score at the near post.

It should have been 3-0 on 30 minutes when Harding was felled by the keeper but Kayleigh Green’s penalty cleared the bar.

A second spot-kick was awarded 10 minutes into the second half which Harding converted with ease and midway through the second-half she burst into the box and her ball across the keeper forced an own-goal from Liv Arge.

Laura O’Sullivan got away with a poor clearance straight to Heidi Revdal, redeeming herself by saving the clear chance on goal for the hosts.

Harding clinched her hat-trick in style, stepping back inside the defender to curl the ball home from an acute angle and it was 6-0 nat the death when Roberts firmly headed home a free to the far post.

Narrow win for Italy in Israel

Italy had to come from behind to take the points in Israel, Cristiana Girelli cancelling out Keren Goor’s opener in first-half stoppage-time and Elisa Bartoli putting them in front in the 64th minute. They needed the third from Valentina Giacinti as Marian Awad would bring Israel back to 2-3 behind in added time.

Croatia scored either side of the interval in Lithiania, Isabella Dujmenovic and Kristina Sundov on target, the hosts replying late on through Dovilė Gailevičiūtė.

Denmark put four past Malta in each half, Sanne Troelsgaard netting early and late in the half, Pernille Harder amd Rikke Sevecke with one each by the interval. Steine Larsen added a brace, Millie Gejl and Nicoline Sorensen also registering.

Iceland were pegged back by Hungary’s Henrietta Csiszár but Elin Jensen scored early and ate in the game for the hosts, Hlin Eiríksdóttir and Dagny Brynjarsdóttir striking in-between for a 4-1 result.