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Wales hopes ended by Iceland

Wales 1 (Hughes 90)

Iceland 2 (Ladd og 29, Zomers 78)

Wales succumbed to a 2-1 home defeat against Iceland on Friday evening at the Cardiff City Stadium in League A of the UEFA Nations League.

The defeat sees Gemma Grainger’s side confirmed as relegated from League A of the competition with one game remaining against Germany on Tuesday night.

However, the home side started brightly on the night and posed a threat in the opening exchanges. Jessica Fishlock and Rachel Rowe offered some early promise, but both could only fire their opening efforts wide of the target.

Gemma Grainger’s side continued to pose a regular threat to the Icelandic goal in the opening period, with some neat interplay almost setting Fishlock free on goal, only for the chance to be squandered due to a misplaced pass.

Despite their positive start, it was the opposition who broke the deadlock just on the cusp of the half hour mark. Sædis Heiŏarsdóttir’s cross from the left flank was headed into the danger area by Wales defender Hayley Ladd before a ricochet saw Hildur Antonsdóttir beat Ladd to the ball and poke home to give Iceland the lead against the run of play.

After the break, the visitors strengthened their grip on the game. With 57 minutes on the clock, Hlín Eiríksdóttir looked destined to extend their lead, but in the process of firing an effort at goal, she was adjudged to have handled the ball.

Wales made changes as they searched for an equaliser, with both Elise Hughes and Ffion Morgan entering the fray.

Grainger’s charges pressed for an equaliser, but their efforts were quashed when, with 12 minutes remaining, Dilja Zomers rocketed an effort past Clark in the Wales goal to double Iceland’s advantage.

Elise Hughes nodded home a goal late in injury time, her first for her country, after a pinpoint cross from Lily Woodham on the left, but it was not to be for Wales on a cold night in Cardiff.  

Wales: Olivia Clark, Lily Woodham, Gemma Evans, Sophie Ingle, Rhiannon Roberts (sub Ffion Morgan 73mins), Hayley Ladd, Ceri Holland, Angharad James, Kayleigh Green (sub Elise Hughes 64mins), Jessica Fishlock, Rachel Rowe. Subs not used: Laura O’Sullivan, Safia Middleton-Patel, Josie Green, Alice Griffiths, Charlie Estcourt, Mary McAteer, Megan Wynne, Ella Powell, Carrie Jones, Anna Filbey.

Iceland: Telma Ivarsdottir, Sandra Jessen (sub Dilja Zomers 64mins), Glodis Viggosdottir, Ingibjorg Sigurdardottir, Selma Magnusdottir, Karolina Vilhjalmsdottir, Hlin Eiriksdottir (sub Bryndis Nielsdottir 73mins), Hildur Antonsdottir (sub Alexandra Johannsdottir 73mins), Gudrun Arnardottir (sub Gudny Arnadottir 64mins), Saedis Heidarsdottir, Hafrun Rakel Halldorsdottir (sub Arna Asgrimsdottir 81mins). Subs not used: Gudny Geirsdottir, Fanney Birkisdottir, Berglind Agustsdottir, Lara Pedersen, Olof Sigridur Kristinsdottir, Agla Albertsdottir, Amanda Andradottir.