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Italy end Wales run
 Women's Football Wales International News - 3 Mar 2018
 
Italy 3 (Girelli 17,43, Adami 86) Wales 0
Wales suffered their first defeat since July 2017 as they were beaten 3-0 by Italy in the Cyprus Cup.
 
Manager Jayne Ludlow made one change to the team that beat Finland on the opening day of the tournament, bringing in winger Nadia Lawrence.
 
Elide Martini's Italian side started the game on the attack, testing a Welsh defence which had achieved five consecutive clean sheets. The run was broken on the 17th minute as striker Cristiana Girelli's free kick on the edge of the box curled round the Welsh wall and found the bottom corner of Laura O'Sullivan's goal.
 
Wales' defence stood strong as the Italians drove forward during the first half, forcing play out wide and dealing with set pieces effectively but a rare lapse in communication led to an indirect free kick at the edge of the box which gifted Girelli a second goal as the Italians extended their lead.
 
The second half saw Wales getting more attacking opportunities, with the Italians looking threatened by the direct running of Kayleigh Green and birthday girl Natasha Harding. Several young players were given game time in the half, including a first cap for Cyncoed Ladies midfielder Gwen Davies.
 
Despite withstanding the Italian pressure Wales gave away a dubious penalty, but goalkeeper Laura O'Sullivan stepped up to the mark and saved the effort, diving to her left hand side.
 
However, minutes later Wales were unable to clear from a corner kick and Greta Amadi's side extended Italy's lead minutes before the final whistle.
 
The result means Italy will be playing in the Cyprus Cup Final on 7th March but Wales can still reach the 3rd place play-off match.
 
Jayne Ludlow told faw.cymru: "This competition has never been about results for us, it's about our performances. There were some elements in the game today that I was pleased with, but we also made some mistakes that we'll need to work on now.
 
"We gave game time to some of the younger players and they did well when they came on which is what we were looking for."
 
Wales: Laura O'Sullivan, Rachel Rowe (sub Amina Vine 84mins), Loren Dykes, Sophie Ingle, Rhiannon Roberts, Natasha Harding (sub Melissa Fletcher 84mins), Nadia Lawrence (sub Kylie Nolan 45mins), Jessica Fishlock, Angharad James (sub Gwen Davies 77mins), Charlie Estcourt (sub Alice Griffiths 45mins), Kayleigh Green (sub Hannah Miles 77mins).
 
Italy: Chiara Marchiletti, Valentina Bergamaschi, Sara Gama, Elena Linari, Manuela Giugliano, Alia Guagni (sub Benedatta Glionna 45mins), Martina Rosucci (sub Greta Adami 55mins), Cristiana Girelli (sub Daniela Sabatino 45mins), Linda Tucceri Cimini (sub Lisa Boattin 69mins), Valentina Giacinti, Barbara Bonansea (sub Eleonora Goldoni 69mins).
 
(faw.cymru)

 

 
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