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Wales 0 Republic of Ireland 0
Wales and Republic of Ireland drew a blank in their friendly international match at Rodney Parade on Friday night.
It was the visitors who enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges and tested the Wales defence with an early free kick on the edge of the area and a corner as they looked to gain the early advantage.
Wales quickly settled into the match, and with both sides looking to play the ball on the floor, it made for an entertaining affair. Kayleigh Green had Wales' best opportunity on 16 minutes, but couldn't direct her effort on target after finding herself in space on the edge of the area. Wales visibly grew in confidence as the half progressed, with Natasha Harding and Melissa Fletcher regularly switching flanks to cause problems for the Irish defence.
The visitors pushed forward in numbers with Leanne Kiernan leading the front line, but she was well marshalled by Kylie Davies in the centre of the Wales defence, and the duo became a bit too close on 27 minutes when an accidental clash of heads left both players needing treatment, and eventually forced Kiernan to leave the field.
Stephanie Roche showed her quality from the resulting free kick that forced Wales goalkeeper Claire Skinner to be at her best to turn the ball around the post.
Without Kiernan leading their attack, the Republic of Ireland lacked the attacking edge that had caused Wales early problems, and Wales finished the half as the stronger of the two teams but could not find a way past Grace Moloney in the visitors goal as the two sides went into the break level at 0-0.
Kylie Davies and Melissa Fletcher were both replaced at the break, with Hayley Ladd slotting into the centre of defence and Helen Ward taking up an attacking role on the left, and it proved to be an inspired change as Wales dominated the early part of the second half.
Jessica Fishlock had the best chance of the match after 55 minutes but her superbly struck free kick rebounded off the post having beaten Grace Moloney in the Irish goal as Wales looked to make their superiority count.
On 66 minutes, the ball was in the back of the Irish net, but Kayleigh Green was denied her moment of glory as the assistant signalled for offside.
Both sides made changes as the half progressed, but as the scoreline remained blank, Wales were becoming increasingly frustrated and were left to reflect on what might have been as referee Gavin Townsend eventually brought the match to a close.
Wales: Claire Skinner, Rhiannon Roberts, Gemma Evans, Angharad James, Sophie Ingle, Kylie Davies, Natasha Harding, Rachel Rowe, Kayleigh Green, Jessica Fishlock, Melissa Fletcher. Subs: Lauren O'Sullivan, Nia Jones, Hayley Ladd, Loren Dykes, Nadia Lawrence, Helen Ward, Charlie Estcourt, Chloe Lloyd.
Republic of Ireland: Grace Moloney, Sophie Perry, Karen Duggan, Jetta Berrill, Leanne Kiernan, Julie-Ann Russell, Stephanie Roche, Katie McCabe, Meabh De Burca, Tiegan Ruddy, Emma Beckett. Subs: Alex Kavanagh, Amber Barrett, Shauna Fox, Roma McLaughlin, Sadbh Doyle, Saoirse Noonan, Niamh Reid-Burke, Niamh Prior, Noelle Murray, Chloe Moloney.
(Report by www.faw.cymru)
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