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Wales leave it late
 Women's Football Wales International News - 27 Nov 2017
Wales 1 (Ladd 83) Kazakhstan 0
Wales Women continued their fine start to the World Cup qualifying campaign with a 1-0 win over Kazakhstan.
Hayley Ladd's second half free kick was the difference between the two sides as Wales remain top of Group One.
A dominant performance from Jayne Ludlow's side saw them enjoy much of the possession, as Kazakhstan struggled to get a foothold in the game.
The first real chance fell to Wales as Alice Griffiths' effort sailed just wide of Oksana Zheleznyak's post. The Kazakhstan goalkeeper was forced into making another save moments later as Hayley Ladd's curling free kick was pushed wide for a corner.
Wales continued to press for the opening goal as Natasha Harding's neat touch found Jessica Fishlock on the edge of the area, although her effort was dealt with well by Zhelezynak.
A strong challenge from Griffiths paved the way for another chance for the hosts midway through the first half, as her dipping effort from the edge of the area forced another save from Zhelezynak.
Wales came closest to breaking the deadlock through Angharad James, whose low range strike was parried by Zhelezynak before eventually going behind for a goal kick.
Despite dominating possession throughout the first half, both sides headed into the interval with the scoreline goalless.
Jayne Ludlow sent on Nadia Lawrence during the break as her side went in search of the opening goal. Wales started the second half in the same way they ended the first and went close early on.
James was at the heart of the move once again, as she found space on the edge of the area, but her volley sailed over the crossbar and out for a goal kick.
Kazakhstan earned their first corner of the game ten minutes into the second half, and despite causing problems in the area, Aida Gaistenova's set piece was dealt with by the Wales defence.
Ludlow looked to all-time leading goalscorer Helen Ward to get the goal Wales craved, as she replaced Loren Dykes with 30 minutes remaining.
Despite Wales' constant pressure, the Kazakhstan defence held firm to keep them at bay. The visitors' Karina Zhumabaikyzy was awarded a yellow card for a rash challenge on Ladd, as Wales began to frustrate the Kazakhstan defence.
From the resulting free kick, a scramble in the area saw the ball fall to Harding, but she failed to direct her effort on target from close range.
After a slick move down the left wing, Ladd's cross found the path of James, whose shot cannoned off the post as Wales went in search of a late winner.
The deadlock was finally broken with seven minutes remaining as Ladd's curling free kick evaded everyone in the area and found the far corner of the net.
Ludlow's side went close to doubling their lead minutes later as Ward's ball across the face of goal went just behind substitute Chloe Chivers in the area.
Wales now turn their attention to Tuesday afternoon as they take on Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zenica.
Wales: Lauren O'Sullivan, Loren Dykes (sub Helen Ward 61mins), Sophie Ingle, Rhiannon Roberts, Natasha Harding, Angharad James (sub Chloe Chivers 78mins), Kayleigh Green (sub Nadia Lawrence 45mins), Jessica Fishlock, Rachel Rowe, Hayley Ladd, Alice Griffiths. Subs not used: Claire Skinner, Gemma Evans, Amina Vine, Grace Horrell.
Kazakhstan: Oksana Zheleznyak, Aida Gaistenova (sub Anastassiya Vlassova 90mins), Bibigul Nurusheva, Shokhista Khojasheva (sub Mariya Demidova 65mins), Begaim Kirgizbaeva, Yekaterina Krasyukova, Adilya Vyldanova, Saule Karibayeva (sub Asselkhan Turlybekova 82mins), Svetlana Bortnikova, Yekaterina Babshuk, Karina Zhumabaikyzy. Subs not used: Irina Sandalova, Arailym Orynbassarova, Aigerim Alimkulova, Zuleira Abisheva.


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