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Wales fightback earns point
 Women's Football News 10 Apr 2014
 
Wales 1 (Harding 76) Ukraine 1 (Boychenko 7)
Natasha Harding earned Wales a point with a second half equaliser after her side suffered an early setback in their important World Cup qualifying group clash at Parc y Scarlets. 
 
Ukraine will be the happier of the two sides with the result but things could have been much worse for Wales who deserved at least a point from this encounter. The draw keeps Wales in second place in Group Six, three points ahead of Ukraine but having played two games more.
 
On the back of their 5-1 win in Turkey last Friday, Wales manager Jarmo Matikainen was able to name an unchanged starting line up with just one change on the bench, Amy Wathan replacing Megan Wynne.
 
Although Wales made a bright start to the game, the visitors stunned them by taking a seventh minute lead when, in virtually their first attack. Olga Boychenko scored with a diving header from Lyudmyla Pekur's cross.
 
Pekur had a free kick charged down shortly afterwards but Ukraine appeared satisfied to sit on their lead and hit on the counter attack whenever possible.
 
Wales had appeals for a penalty turned down when Harding went down in the area and, as they started to threaten the Ukrainian goal more, Loren Dykes shot just wide from inside the area and Jessica Fishlock sent a header over the bar.
 
At the other end, Nicola Davies needed to make a good save to push away an effort from Dariya Apanaschenko and the Wales keeper also had to deny Boychenko a couple of minutes afterwards. Wales pushed forward as the half came to a close but it was Ukraine who took their lead into the interval.
 
The second half started a little more quietly although the early chances went Wales' way. Harding, who was playing an unaccustomed lone role up front, sent in a shot from the edge of the area which hit the side netting and Sarah Wiltshire was off target with another effort.
 
As the frustration began to grow for Wales, Sophie Ingle rose to meet a Helen Bleazard corner just after the hour mark which Iryna Zvarich failed to gather but her fumble took the ball out for a corner, this time however Ingle's header flew over the bar.
 
Harding shot straight at Zvarich after having been played through by Fishlock, shortly afterwards Harding returned the favour with a good lay off but the Wales captain lifted her shot well over. At the other end, Vira Dyatel fired an effort wide but Ukraine attacks were now far less frequent than before.
 
Wales' efforts were finally rewarded on the 76 minute mark as Ukraine gave the ball away in their own half and Harding took full advantage by drilling a shot past Zvarich for the equaliser and her second goal in as many games.
 
Wales now sensed the chance to grab a winner which had seemed unlikely minutes before and they inflicted late pressure on the visitors, with Nadia Lawrence being introduced as an extra striker late on.
 
Wiltshire fired a shot wide and Fishlock saw a late free kick punched away by Zvarich but Ukraine ran the clock down which leaves them in a slightly stronger position for the time being, but with a lot still to play for. 
 
Wales: Nicola Davies, Nicola Cousins, Helen Bleazard (sub Nadia Lawrence 86mins), Kylie Davies, Sophie Ingle, Angharad James, Loren Dykes, Hayley Ladd, Natasha Harding, Jessica Fishlock, Sarah Wiltshire. Subs not used: Alice Evans, Rhian Cleverly, Carys Hawkins, Michelle Green, Amy Wathan, Josie Green.

Ukraine: Iryna Zvarich, Olha Basanska, Olha Boychenko, Valentyna Kolyk, Alla Lyshafay, Lyudmyla Pekur, Daryna Apanaschenko, Maryna Masalska, Vira Dyatel, Valeriya Aloshycheva (sub Olha Ovdiychuk 86mins), Tetyana Romanenko. Subs not used: Kateryna Samson, Ganna Voronina, Oksana Yakovishyn, Yulia Kornievets, Iya Andrushchak, Iryna Vasylyuk.

 
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