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Finland 0 Wales 1 (Green 53)
A Kayleigh Green wonder goal from 35 yards out gave Jayne Ludlow's side a winning start to their 2018 Cyprus Cup campaign as they beat Finland 1-0.
Despite a difference in rankings (Wales 35, Finland 28) there was very little to separate both teams in the first half. Wales' best chance in the opening half came from Angharad James with an early strike from outside the box, which was dealt comfortably by Finnish goalkeeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela.
With Wales' defensive structure making things difficult for Finland, it was Ludlow's side's chance to attack in the second half. Striker Kayleigh Green almost capitalised on a long free kick in the second half, but her effort on the half volley narrowly sailed past the back post.
However, Green made the most of her next chance. Picking up the ball almost on the halfway line, Green surged forwards and, upon seeing the goalkeeper off her line, Green gracefully slotted the ball into the back of the net.
With only a goal separating the both teams, the Welsh squad had reason to thank goalkeeper Laura O'Sullivan in the closing stages. A difficult save at her near post and several collections from high balls towards the end of the match ensured Wales ended their opening match with the three points and a fifth clean sheet in a row for O'Sullivan and the squad.
Manager Jayne Ludlow says she was thrilled with the result, telling faw.cymru: "As the game progressed, performance wise the girls were spot on. They turned things round at half time and deserved the win. It's a great starting point. We've hit certain targets, we've got some great teams coming up (Italy and Switzerland) so I hope we keep this going."
"Kayleigh's goal was a fantastic finish. She's a great example, always desperate to improve, it was a great finish and she fully deserved the goal."
Wales take on Italy on Friday 2nd March and Switzerland on Monday 5th March to determine their final place in the group. They will then play a final match on Wednesday 7th March, opponents to be confirmed.
Finland: Tinja-Riikka Korpela, Tuija Hyyrynen (sub Katarina Naumanen 62mins), Emma Koivisto, Anna Auvinen, Adelina Engman (sub Anna Westerlund 84mins), Juliette Kemppi, Emmi Alanen, Nora Heroum, Julia Tunturi (sub Vilma Hakala 48mins), Anna Westerlund, Kaisa Collin.
Wales: Laura O'Sullivan, Rachel Rowe, Loren Dykes, Sophie Ingle, Rhiannon Roberts, Gemma Evans (sub Nadia Lawrence 38mins (sub Melissa Fletcher 89mins)), Jessica Fishlock (sub Alice Griffiths 87mins), Angharad James, Natasha Harding (sub Helen Ward 78mins), Kayleigh Green (sub Kylie Nolan 76mins), Charlie Estcourt (sub Hannah Miles 56mins).
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