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Wales through to semi finals

Wales 3 Scotland 1

Wales recorded their first senior victory over Scotland since 1996 after a clinical performance saw them to a   3-1 win in the Pinatar Cup.

Lana Clelland’s well worked opener for Scotland was quickly cancelled out, with Wales capitalising ruthlessly on some slack moments with three goals between first half injury time and the hour mark.

Scotland started on the front foot, with a dangerous Caroline Weir cross scrambled to safety by the Wales defence. Jane Ross was just beaten to the ball by keeper Laura O’Sullivan after looking to capitalise on a driven delivery from Claire Emslie.

The big worry for Wales came after just fifteen minutes when Hayley Ladd was forced to leave the field through injury, being replaced by Anna Filbey.

Clelland saw an effort deflected behind but the striker was not to be denied for long. In first half injury time, a pinpoint cross from the right by Christy Grimshaw found Clelland, who was equally precise with her header for the opening goal.

Scotland barely had a minute to enjoy the moment as Wales notched a quickfire leveller. The Scottish defence was caught out by a long ball forward and Jenna Clark could only bring down Kayleigh Green in the area and Jessica Fishlock slotted the resulting penalty past Jenna Fife for the equaliser.

Scotland made three changes at the break and Wales introduced two players themselves, and it was Gemma Grainger’s side who were to receive the greater benefit in the second half. Scotland did start the half well and twice came close to regaining the lead as Emslie fired narrowly over, while Abi Harrison drilled just wide.

Wales responded in clinical fashion and edged in front on 53 minutes, when a clever back heel from Natasha Harding teed up Fishlock, who made no mistake from close range for her second goal.

The influential Harding then made it 3-1 on the hour mark as the Welsh turned the screw, calmly steering the ball past Fife from Green’s cross.

Fishlock had a great chance to complete her hat-trick but shot over the bar with only Fife to beat. Wales continued to look incisive going forward with substitute Ffion Morgan firing an effort narrowly over the bar.

Grimshaw and Christie Murray were withdrawn for Kirsty Hanson and Sam Kerr as Scotland looked to turn the tide. With eight minutes left, Weir did well to find space in the box but her curling shot went wide.

Harrison pressed hard as the focal point of the Scottish attack and came close to getting her reward, but an 86th minute shot flew narrowly wide of the post.

Both teams will be in action again on Saturday; Belgium’s 4-0 victory over Slovakia means that Wales will take on Belgium in the semi finals whilst Scotland will be up against Slovakia.

Wales: Laura O'Sullivan, Rachel Rowe (sub Lily Woodham 45mins), Gemma Evans, Hayley Ladd (sub Anna Filbey 15mins), Rhiannon Roberts, Sophie Ingle, Ceri Holland (sub Angharad James 62mins), Jessica Fishlock, Carrie Jones (sub Ffion Morgan 45mins), Natasha Harding (sub Megan Wynne 76mins), Kayleigh Green (sub Helen Ward 76mins). Subs not used: Olivia Clark, Poppy Soper, Elise Hughes, Charlie Estcourt, Georgia Walters, Chloe Williams.

Scotland: Jenna Fife, Christy Grimshaw (sub Kirsty Hanson 62mins), Jenna Clark (sub Martha Thomas 45mins), Jennifer Beattie, Sophie Howard, Claire Emslie, Christie Murray (sub Samantha Kerr 62mins), Lisa Robertson, (sub Kelly Clark 85mins), Caroline Weir, Lana Clelland (sub Abi Harrison 45mins), Jane Ross (sub Chloe Arthur 45mins). Subs not used: Eartha Cumings, Kirsty Smith, Nicola Docherty, Lucy Graham, Leah Eddie, Lizzie Arnot.