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Injury time header denies Wales

Ukraine 2 Wales 2

Wales suffered stoppage-time heartbreak as Ukraine scored a last-gasp goal to earn a 2-2 draw in UEFA Women’s EURO qualifying.

Ukraine took a shock lead when Yana Kalinina finished off a quick breakaway in the first half, but Kayleigh Barton’s penalty in the 74th minute and Jessica Fishlock’s wonder strike two minutes later completed the turnaround for Wilkinson’s side in Poznan.

It looked as though Wales would be remaining at the top of their qualifying group before substitute Nicole Kozlova headed home in the seventh minute of stoppage time to secure a point for Ukraine.

Wilkinson made four changes from Friday’s outing in Llanelli, with Rachel Rowe, Lois Joel, Carrie Jones and Barton replacing Lily Woodham, Rhiannon Roberts, Ffion Morgan and Mary McAteer in the starting line up.

Wales flew out of the traps and enjoyed several chances in the opening five minutes. Gemma Evans’ long pass forward picked out the run of Rowe, who forced a low save out of the Ukraine goalkeeper with less than 60 seconds on the clock.

Fishlock then saw her effort deflected behind for a corner. Wales continued to apply the pressure as Barton then got on the end of Rowe’s corner before heading over the crossbar.

Another perfectly weighted pass from Evans then setup another chance for Wales. The defender found the onrushing Barton, who got a shot away from a tight angle and beat the Ukraine goalkeeper but Lyubov Shmatko was there to clear the ball off the line.

Wales had enjoyed the better of the opportunities but it was Ukraine who took the lead with a clinical counter attack 10 minutes before the break. Olha Ovdiychuk’s quick breakaway resulted in her finding an unmarked Kalinina, via a dummy from Tamila Khimich, who fired in the opening goal to put Ukraine ahead at the break.

Wales finally found the equaliser with six minutes left on the clock when Barton was adjudged to have been dragged down in the penalty area. The striker stepped up to take the resulting spot kick and made no mistake in blasting beyond the Ukraine goalkeeper for the second time in the space of five days.

Three minutes later, Fishlock then rifled home a powerful strike from 20 yards and it put her side on course to sealing their third win of the qualifying campaign.

However substitute Kozlova rescued a point for Ukraine with an excellent diving header from Daryna Apanashchenko’s cross in the dying seconds to ensure the spoils were shared, with no time left to restart the game.

Wales return to action when they face Croatia on Friday 12 July before facing Kosovo in their final group game four days later at Parc y Scarlets on Tuesday 16 July.   

Ukraine: Daria Keliushyk, Anna Petryk, Olha Basanska, Daryna Apanaschenko, Lyubov Shmatko, Veronika Andrukhiv (sub Nicole Kozlova 85mins), Yana Kalinina (sub Natiya Pantsulaya 76mins), Daiana Semkiv, Roksolana Kravchuk (sub Inna Hlushchenko 63mins), Tamila Khimich, Olha Ovdiychuk (sub Yana Malakhova 85mins). Subs not used: Kateryna Boklach, Kateryna Samson, Iryna Podolska, Yana Kotyk, Maryna Shaynyuk, Kateryna Korsun.  

Wales: Olivia Clark, Hayley Ladd, Gemma Evans, Sophie Ingle, Rachel Rowe, Carrie Jones (sub Mary McAteer 68mins), Ceri Holland, Angharad James, Kayleigh Barton (sub Rhiannon Roberts 85mins), Jessica Fishlock, Lois Joel (sub Lily Woodham 68mins). Subs not used: Poppy Soper, Safia Middleton-Patel, Georgia Walters, Olivia Francis, Charlie Estcourt, Ellen Jones, Ella Powell, Alice Griffiths, Ffion Morgan.