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England 3 (Duggan 57, Scott 60, Parris 68)
att: 5,053; at Newport County FC>
England 3 (Duggan 57, Scott 60, Parris 68)
att: 5,053; at Newport County FC
England are going to the World Cup Finals in France next summer after a strong second half display carried to victory in front of a partisan crowd at Rodney Parade.
After a more evenly contested first half, three goals in twelve second half minutes gave Phil Neville's side the result they required whilst Wales will need results to go their way on Tuesday if they are to qualify as one of the best runners-up for the play-offs.
Wales were forced to make one change from their last match, victory over Russia back in June, with teenager Kylie Nolan coming in to replace Rachel Rowe. There were no real surprises in England's starting line up with Neville opting for experience and recalling Alex Greenwood, Steph Houghton and Jodie Taylor.
The match had attracted a record crowd for a women's international in Wales and they played their part early on with plenty of noise and enthusiasm as the game got underway.
The first opportunity of the match fell the home side's way as Helen Ward picked up a loose pass out of defence and fed Kayleigh Green, whose pass was slid into the path of Nolan who burst into the area but her shot was blocked by Houghton.
A huge moment of controversy came on seven minutes when a good move England move culminated with Greenwood's deflected shot coming back off the bar and Nikita Parris followed up to turn to stab home the rebound. Parris had looked to be well onside but England celebrations were cut short as a very late offside flag ruled the goal out.
Angharad James tested Karen Bardsley from distance and at the other end, an Alex Greenwood free kick was cleared as far as Jordan Nobbs whose shot went harmlessly wide from the edge of the area.
There was a huge scare for Wales as Laura O'Sullivan was unable to hold on to a nod down from Jill Scott and initially got into a tangle with Loren Dykes but she was helped out by her defence before pouncing on the loose ball.
O'Sullivan also needed to save from a Toni Duggan free kick but once again, her handling was excellent when dealing with a number of crosses from deep as England's two full backs continued to be their liveliest players going forward.
At the other end, Wales had loud shouts for a penalty turned down as Kayleigh Green chased down a long ball forward but the advancing Bardsley had just managed to get to the ball first.
From the start of the second half, England attacked with more purpose and pace with Jill Scott and Jordan Nobbs starting to command the midfield area and their forward line, which had been ineffective for most of the first half, started to come to life.
Nobbs fired over after a Fran Kirby cross had been cleared into her path, however a minute later, England finally got the breakthrough they craved. Nobbs crossed into the area for Taylor who challenged O'Sullivan, the ball running loose for Kirby who slid a pass for Duggan to guide the ball in from twelve yards.
It could have been two moments later, as James was penalised for handball 25 yards from goal and Steph Houghton's free kick brought out a fine diving save from O'Sullivan. From the resulting corner though, Ward's headed clearance at the near post was returned first time into the area by Bronze and Scott looped a header over a stranded O'Sullivan to put England two ahead.
Wales tried to respond with a Natasha Harding cross which was just too high for Ward in the centre but England were in firm control now and any attacks from the home side had become more sporadic.
O'Sullivan saved a low shot from Duggan but midway through the second half, England increased their lead. Greenwood swung a free kick from the right hand side into the area, which was spilled by the normally reliable O'Sullivan under pressure and Taylor turned the ball across goal for Parris to steer a diving header home past the covering Dykes.
Bright headed wide from a corner as England looked to further increase their advantage against a tiring and dispirited looking Wales side who struggled to muster attacks during the later stages despite the efforts of the admirable Green up front.
England will go to Kazakhstan for their final group match with Head Coach Neville promising to give game time to some of the younger and less experienced members of the squad. If Wales have come to the end of the road for this campaign, any initial disappointment should give way to pride looking at a fine series of matches which saw them go an astonishing 687 minutes without conceding a goal and saw the emergence of Sophie Ingle and Kayleigh Green as top internationals who will spearhead the side in the years ahead.
England meanwhile have stretched their unbeaten run in qualifying matches to 58 - a run which stretches back 16 years - and brought a successful end to a campaign which has seen three different Head Coaches take charge over the seven matches played.
Wales: Laura O'Sulivan, Rhiannon Roberts, Natasha Harding (sub Ffion Morgan 89mins), Sophie Ingle, Loren Dykes, Hayley Ladd, Kylie Nolan (sub Elise Hughes 61mins), Angharad James, Kayleigh Green, Jessica Fishlock, Helen Ward (sub Peyton Vincze 72mins). Subs not used: Claire Skinner, Gemma Evans, Alice Griffiths, Nadia Lawrence.
England: Karen Bardsley, Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood, Jordan Nobbs, Steph Houghton, Millie Bright, Nikita Parris, Jill Scott (sub Keira Walsh 83mins), Jodie Taylor (sub Izzy Christiansen 77mins), Fran Kirby (sub Rachel Daly 86mins), Toni Duggan. Subs not used: Carly Telford, Abbie McManus, Beth Mead, Melissa Lawley.
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