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Wales cruise to victory
 Women's Football News 24 Aug 2009
 
Wales cruise to victory - 24 Aug 2009 - Women's Football NewsWales 3 (Harries 12,49, Dykes 45) Slovenia 0
at Stebonheath Park, Llanelli

Wales warmed up for their forthcoming World Cup qualifying group matches with a confidence boosting 3-0 over Slovenia at Stebonheath Park and the margin of victory could have been greater.
 
Wales went into the match sporting a 4-3-3 formation and striker Cheryl Foster wore the captain's armband on the occasion of her 50th cap, becoming only the second Welsh international to do so.
 
The opening exchanges saw Wales take the game to their opponents in the wet conditions at Llanelli and they almost took an early lead when Gwennan Harries flashed a 20-yard shot just past the post.
 
However they did go in front in the 12th minute to reward their early efforts. After a clearance ricocheted into her path, Jessica Fishlock slid a through ball into the path of Harries who slid her shot under the advancing Lucija Mori.
 
Wales continued to look confident in possession and Harries was looking particulary sharp up front, going close again after being picked out by a crossfield pass from Michelle Green; the Everton striker cut in and drilled her effort wide of the far post.
 
Foster missed an opportunity to extend the lead when she poked her shot wide after being set up by Harries and Nicola Cousins saw a powerful header tipped around the post by Mori following a corner.
 
Mori was fortunate to escape with a yellow card when she floored Harries as she ran through on goal. The foul appeared to be in the area but was given outside the area and Harries' resulting free kick was charged down. Slovenia tried to respond with Manja Benak driving a 25-yard shot straight at Rhian Nokes but Wales were to get further reward on the stroke of half time.
 
Foster started the move by evading a challenge from Benak and finding Harries out wide and, from the resulting low cross, Loren Dykes slid in to force the ball past Mori and score her first international goal.
 
The pattern of the match continued after the break with Wales full of confidence against a physical approach from Slovenia and, in a remarkably similar incident to that in the first half, Harries again broke through only to be uncompromisingly brought down by Mori on the edge of the area.
 
Again, the Slovenian keeper stayed on the pitch but Harries got up to provide her own justice, curling the resulting free kick around the wall and into the corner of the net to make it 3-0.
 
Stasa Spur went close for Slovenia seconds after coming on as a substitute, firing a 25-yard shot just over the bar. However this proved to be a rare foray into the Welsh half as the home side continued to dictate matters with Green and Katie Daley controlling the game in the centre.
 
A fourth goal almost came as Foster chased a long ball forward, substitute goalkeeper Anja Kadunc came out to clear but only found Daley, who returned a 40-yard lob which looked goalbound but was headed off the line by Ana Golob.
 
Wales gave senior debuts to Jasmin Dutton, Sharla Passiarello and Yasmin Leung as the game wore on and all three showed some good touches. They still pursued further goals, Fishlock sending a left foot shot past the far post and Foster seeing a shot inadvertently charged down by Dykes.
 
A goal from Foster on her landmark appearance would have crowned the day for Wales but there was to be no fairytale ending for the skipper. She could not have come closer in injury time as she produced a fierce drive destined for the top corner but was denied by a superb diving save from Kadunc.
 
It was a good all round performance from Wales to set themselves in good heart for the tougher tests next month against Belgium and Czech Republic.
 
Wales: Rhian Nokes, Sally Wade (sub Carla Parfitt 80mins), Lauren Townsend (sub Jasmin Dutton 75mins), Emma Jones, Nicola Cousins, Katie Daley, Loren Dykes, Michelle Green (sub Yasmin Leung 82mins), Cheryl Foster, Gwennan Harries (sub Sharla Passiarello 80mins), Jessica Fishlock. Subs not used: Sophie Dando, Alicia Powe, Kerrie Manley.

Slovenia: Lucija Mori (sub Anja Kadunc 64mins), Ksenja Povh, Tea Poddrecca (sub Nina Cafuta 45mins), Adrijana Bogolin (sub Urska Zganec 52mins), Ines Spelic (sub Anja Levacic 64mins), Polona Govek (sub Stasa Spur 59mins), Tanja Vrabel, Mateja Zver, Manja Benak, Ana Golob, Tjasa Tibaut.

 
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