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Northern Ireland and Wales in stalemate
 Women's Football Wales International News - 16 Nov 2019
Wales International News - Northern Ireland and Wales in stalemate - 16 Nov 2019 - Women's Football NewsNorthern Ireland 0 Wales 0
Wales remain unbeaten in their UEFA Women's EURO 2021 after a battling goalless draw in Northern Ireland.
There was a presentation before the game for Northern Ireland defender Ashley Hutton to mark her 100th cap, which she won when the teams met at Newport back in September and marked with an injury time equaliser in the 2-2 draw.
Jayne Ludlow handed Megan Wynne her first senior start out in Belfast in a relatively unchanged side. However, Wynne and her team mates had to be alert from the first minute, with Laura O'Sullivan forced to make a diving save for Simone Magill's dipping header.
Wales soon settled into the game and created chances of their own. Rachel Rowe saw a driven shot from distance go narrowly wide, while Angharad James' curling effort narrowly missed the top corner.
The second half was an end-to-end affair, with both sides creating chances in abundance. Once again Laura O'Sullivan was forced into action in the opening minute. Northern Ireland goalkeeper Rebecca Flaherty then pulled off an impressive save as Angharad James' attempt looked to be finding the bottom corner, with the keeper putting in an impressive performance for the hosts.
Wales' best chances of the match fell to the feet of Rachel Rowe, the scorer of the decisive goal in last month's 1-0 win against Belarus. Rowe found herself one-on-one but it was Flaherty to the rescue again, denying Wales the opening goal of the match in the latter stages.
The result means Wales reach the halfway point of the qualifying campaign in second place and unbeaten. The group winners and top three second place sides progress to the UEFA Women's EURO 2021 tournament, while the remaining second place teams will enter a two-leg playoff.
Ludlow's side's next match will be against the Faroe Islands on Friday 10th April at Rodney Parade and tickets are available via the FAW website.
After the game, Jayne Ludlow told faw.cymru: "There were lots of positives, it was another clean sheet away from home and we could have had something more. We competed well and we're progressing. We're four games unbeaten and we're in a good place ahead of next year."
Northern Ireland: Rebecca Flaherty, Rachel Newborough (sub Rebecca McKenna 57mins), Demi Vance, Sarah McFadden (sub Marissa Callaghan 80mins), Julie Nelson, Ashley Hutton, Chloe McCarron, Simone Magill, Rachel Furness, Lauren Wade, Megan Bell (sub Caitlin McGuinness 87mins). Subs not used: Lauren Perry, Kelsie Burrows, Toni Finnegan, Samantha Kelly, Emma McMaster, Casey Howe, Yasmin White, Nadene Caldwell.
Wales: Laura O'Sullivan, Rhiannon Roberts, Loren Dykes, Sophie Ingle, Hayley Ladd, Elise Hughes (sub Gemma Evans 55mins), Josie Green, Angharad James, Kayleigh Green (sub Helen Ward 82mins), Megan Wynn, Rachel Rowe. Subs not used: Claire Skinner, Olivia Clark, Carrie Jones, Maria Francis-Jones, Nadia Lawrence, Kylie Nolan, Georgia Walters.
Photo - Chloe McCarron shrugs off the attentions of Kayleigh Green and Josie Green (Will Cheshire).


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