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Wales 6 (Harding 4,58,79, E.Jones 6, Arge og 67, Roberts 93)>
Faroe Islands 0
Wales 6 (Harding 4,58,79, E.Jones 6, Arge og 67, Roberts 93)
A Natasha Harding hat-trick helped Wales on their way to an opening win in the UEFA Women Euro 2021 qualifying round after an emphatic 6-0 win against the Faroe Islands in Torshavn.
Manager Jayne Ludlow made two changes from the side that beat New Zealand in June, welcoming back midfielder Angharad James while Emma Jones was selected up front.
Wales started on the front foot from the kick off, with Harding getting her first goal with a header in the sixth minute while Emma Jones doubled the lead 90 seconds later. Jones scored her first goal for Wales with a guided strike into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
After a strong start, Wales could have made it three after Harding was taken down in the box, but Kayleigh Green, the side's top scorer in the previous campaign, saw her penalty sail over the crossbar.
Ludlow made one change at the start of the second half, bringing on midfielder Josie Green for her first Wales match in five years. Early on in the half, Wales extended their lead, with Harding scoring her second goal from the penalty spot after Kayleigh Green was taken down in the box.
Harding's fine performance continued and was rewarded once more minutes later. A mazy run into the box saw her unselfishly square the ball towards team mate Emma Jones but a touch from Arge in the Faroe Islands defence guided the ball back into her own net.
The hat-trick for Harding eventually came with ten minutes remaining with what was the goal of the game. Harding weaved between the Faroe Islands defenders once again and, almost on the by-line, produced a stunning chip over the opposition keeper and delicately placed near the far post.
With Wales 5-0 up, Ludlow saw the opportunity to give fifteen-year-old Carrie Jones her first senior cap. Having previously captained her country at Under-17 level, Jones slotted into the forward three for the closing stages.
The sixth goal came with the last touch of the match with a superb set piece move. Rhiannon Roberts bagged her first goal for Wales as the defender beat her opposition at the far post from a corner kick and her looping header found the back of the net to cap off an impressive performance from Jayne Ludlow's Wales.
Wales will be looking to build on their good start on Tuesday night when they play their second group match at home to Northern Ireland at Rodney Parade, Newport (7pm).
Wales: Laura O'Sullivan, Loren Dykes, Gemma Evans, Sophie Ingle, Rhiannon Roberts, Hayley Ladd, Elise Hughes (sub Josie Green 45mins), Emma Jones (sub Carrie Jones 82mins), Angharad James, Kayleigh Green (sub Megan Wynne 74mins), Natasha Harding. Subs not used: Claire Skinner, Helen Ward, Charlie Estcourt, Kylie Nolan, Lily Woodham, Anna Filbey.
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