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Green earns a point for Wales in World Cup qualifier

WALES women moved into second place in World Cup qualifying Group I as they were held to a draw by Slovenia on Friday night (Oct 22).

It was the 200th time that a Wales womens team had taken to the field and Gemma Grainger’s team went into the game looking to continue their 100% qualifying record.

There was an early opportunity for Natasha Harding as she was played in but a good tackle stopped her from getting a shot away.

An early corner for the Slovenians went all the way through the box with no takers as the home side looked to go ahead.

The home side had more chances to go ahead but a corner was well defended before a loose ball wasn’t pounced upon quickly enough by the Slovenian forwards.

Just after the half hour mark, Wales were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position and Angharad James lofted a ball into the box for Rhiannon Roberts who headed the ball down but straight at the Slovenian keeper who made a good save.

The same combination combined five minutes before the break as James sent a corner into the box and Roberts’ header was again saved by the keeper.

A minute later the home side had a great chance to go ahead as miscommunication allowed Slovenian captain Mateja Zver in but she shot over the bar.

Slovenia started the second half brightly as Lara Prasnikar went through but she curled a shot wide of the goal.

A foul on the edge of the box then gave Wales the perfect chance to get themselves going but James’ free kick was eventually scrambled clear.

Just after the hour mark Natasha Harding was sent free down the right and she crossed into the box for Kayleigh Green but her shot was well saved by the keeper.

On 69 minutes it was Slovenia who grabbed the first goal of the game when a cross into the box was only cleared as far as Manja Rogan who fired in to the net despite the best attempts of Welsh keeper Laura O’Sullivan.

The lead only lasted two minutes though as James’ free kick was headed in by Green.

Green’s night took a turn for the worse four minutes later though as she attempted to block the Slovenian keeper’s clearance but caught her in doing so and was shown a second yellow card.

It meant that Wales would have to play the last fifteen minutes with a player less but they held on to secure what could prove to be a crucial point.

Adrijana Mori headed wide in stoppage time but the game ended 1-1 as Wales kept hold of their unbeaten start in qualifying.

Wales are next in action on Tuesday, October 26, as they host Estonia at Cardiff City Stadium. The Estonians were beaten 11-0 by France on Friday.