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Convincing win for Wales
 Women's Football News 15 Sep 2016
 
Wales 3 (Ward 16,33, Estcourt 59) Israel 0
Two goals from Helen Ward and a third from substitute Charlie Estcourt completed a convincing win for Wales in Newport. 
 
Israel went into this qualifier at Rodney Parade bottom of Group 8 but could take confidence from holding Wales to a 2-2 draw in Ramat Gan last December. 
 
Wales' hopes of qualification ended in June following a 2-0 defeat to Norway, but with the focus now turning to the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 qualifiers that will start next year, manager Jayne Ludlow was keen for her side to bring the current campaign to a close on a positive note in the first of their final two fixtures.  
 
It was a positive start for Wales as they enjoyed the better of the early possession and looked extremely comfortable in a defence well marshalled by captain Sophie Ingle.
 
The match started competitively with both sides looking to gain the psychological edge with a couple of early challenges, but Wales gained the upper hand and both Helen Ward and Nadia Lawrence had efforts on goal inside the opening 15 minutes. Gemma Evans was a danger for the Israeli defence with her set piece delivery, and a deserved lead was taken by Wales when Ward finished in style on 16 minutes.
 
A yellow card for defender Hayley Ladd briefly dented Wales' rhythm but their confidence was restored when Ingle showed all her defensive qualities to deny Lee Sima Falkon with a last ditch tackle when the Israeli forward appeared to be through on goal.
 
On 33 minutes, the lead was doubled when Ward scored her second of the game after latching onto a ball from Rachel Rowe. Wales continued to dominate and Lawrence headed over from a Natasha Harding cross as the opening half came to a close, but it remained 2-0 as Wales took a comfortable advantage into the break.
 
A collision between Kayleigh Green and Israeli goalkeeper Merav Shamir resulted in the Wales striker being replaced at half time by Charlie Estcourt, but Wales continued where they had left off with Jessica Fishlock trying her luck from distance following the restart.
 
It would prove to be another dominant half from Wales, and on 59 minutes Estcourt extended their lead after some excellent work from Natasha Harding in the Israeli area with a fine finish.
 
Wales were good value for their lead and should have increased their advantage on 85 minutes when Harding was fouled in the area by Michal Ravitz. Despite being booked previously, Ravitz escaped further punishment, but Fishlock was denied by Shamir as the goalkeeper guessed the right way to deny Wales a fourth goal.
 
Substitute Melissa Fletcher and Estcourt both had further chances before the final whistle eventually blew to confirm a convincing victory from Jayne Ludlow's side and round off a dominant performance. The side now returns to Rodney Parade for the tougher challenge of Austria on Tuesday to bring their qualification campaign to a close. 
 
Wales: Claire Skinner, Rachel Rowe, Gemma Evans, Angharad James, Hayley Ladd, Sophie Ingle, Natasha Harding, Nadia Lawrence (sub Melissa Fletcher 69mins), Kayleigh Green (sub Charlie Estcourt 45mins), Jessica Fishlock, Helen Ward (sub Hannah Miles 83mins). Subs not used: Laura O'Sullivan, Rhiannon Roberts, Chloe Chivers, Kylie Davies.

Israel: Merav Shamir, Michal Ravitz, Daniel Sofer (sub Roni Shimrich 76mins), Shani David, Adva Tvill, Lee Sima Falkon, Moran Fridman (sub Opal Sofer 70mins), Shay Sade, Maya Barqui (sub Shai Pearl 82mins), Karin Sendel, Arava Shahaf. Subs not used: Hanit Schwarz, Shahar Nakav, Eden Avital, Alina Metkalov.

(Report by www.faw.cymru)


 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
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