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Wales secured a penalty shootout win over Faroe Islands in their second match of the UEFA Women's Under-17 Development Tournament at Penybont FC, Bridgend following a 2-2 draw after 80 minutes.
The conditions at Bryntirion Park were difficult for both teams due to a strong wind, that at times influenced the play. The wind assisted Faroe Islands into a 1-0 lead when a second minute corner from Tóra Mohr curled straight into the back of Grace Thomas-Parr's net.
Despite the disappointment of going a goal behind, Wales showed their character and began to dominate the play. They came close to drawing level in the sixth minute when Amelia Ritchie was sent through on goal. Ritchie hit a low shot that Ingunn Persson saved well for the Faroe Islands. From the resulting corner Emily Poole ran on to the ball and volleyed just wide of the left post.
Wales continued to apply pressure on their opponents defence and came close again during the 36th minute of play when Ella Powell took her chance to shoot but was denied by Persson.
Faroe Islands scored against the run of play just before half time when Thomas-Parr's goal kick was held up by the strong wind. Mohr, who had predicted the fall of the ball and stayed goal side of her marker, chipped it over the Wales goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
Wales began the second half in a determined fashion and in the 45th minute Persson failed to hold onto the ball following a good strike from Niamh Tinman and Ellie Lake slotted the ball neatly into the goal for 2-1.
It seemed inevitable that Wales would find the equaliser that they desired and their hard work was rewarded in the 61st minute. When Shaunna Jenkins received the ball from the right inside the 18-yard box, she turned her marker and fired low to Persson's left for a very neat goal.
With the score now 2-2, Wales went in search of a winning goal and it nearly came when Charlie Estcourt did well to hold the ball up before laying it off for Lauryn Lyons to unleash a powerful effort. The strike was goalbound but was denied by an excellent save from the Faroe Islands goalkeeper.
With the match finishing in a draw, a penalty shoot-out was required to determine an overall winner in this UEFA WU17 Development Tournament match.
Julia Mortensen stepped up first for the Faroe Islands and sent her penalty strike over the crossbar. Tinman scored with her penalty to give Wales the lead in the shootout.
Eria Christiansen, Birita Nielsen and Gúdny Johannesen converted their penalties for Faroe Islands, with Amelia Ritchie, Jenkins and Woodham scoring their spot kicks for Wales in return.
This resulted in Faroe Islands' Oddny Jacobsen needing to score to keep the shootout alive. Jacobsen struck down the middle of the goal but Thomas-Parr tipped the ball over the crossbar to give Wales the win.
Wales play their final game of the UEFA U17 Development Tournament on Friday, 8th May against Kazakhstan at the Centre for Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach. Kick off is at 11.00am.
In the other match, Northern Ireland ran out 4-0 winners over Kazakhstan. Rebecca Bassett scored a hat-trick for Northern Ireland, with Chloe Orr also getting on the scoresheet.
(Report by www.faw.org.uk)
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