Green rescues Wales in Slovenia before red card

3 months ago 16

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Kayleigh Green scoresKayleigh Green has scored three goals in three World Cup qualifiers but will now be suspended for Tuesday's home game against Estonia

Kayleigh Green rescued a valuable point for Wales in Slovenia before being sent off in a fiery World Cup qualifier.

Wales missed a number of chances as goalkeeper Zala Mersnik produced heroics and they were made to pay when substitute Manja Rogan fired home from 20 yards on 69 minutes.

Green headed Wales level two minutes later, before she was sent off for receiving a second yellow card.

Slovenia pushed for a winner but Wales held firm in a landmark match.

The contest in Lendava was Wales' 200th fixture, with their first official game against Iceland at Afan Lido in 1993.

The stakes were higher for this World Cup qualifier between two nations just 15 places apart in the world rankings and with aspirations of at least a play-off spot as they target a World Cup appearance in 2023.

Wales won their opening two games in Group I against Kazakhstan and Estonia, while Slovenia beat Estonia before an unfortunate 3-2 loss to group favourites France, so this contest between the second and third seeds looked pivotal.

There was no option for Wales manager Gemma Grainger to name an unchanged side with influential defender Rachel Rowe suffering a hamstring injury in training while on camp, so Tottenham teenager Esther Morgan, 19, started at left-back.

A heavy surface at Sportni Park made things difficult for the players but Wales made a confident start, with Jess Fishlock seeing her appeal for a penalty waved away after a shove in just the third minute.

Fishlock then produced a sumptuous pass to set Natasha Harding clear, but the Reading captain was denied by a brilliant tackle from Lana Golob.

Slovenia began to create more opportunities at the other end but Wales defended resolutely, before missing a wonderful opportunity to take the lead when goalkeeper Mersnik saved Rhiannon Roberts' header from close-range after Angharad James' fantastic free-kick.

Ceri Holland was also denied as she tried to head home with Wales unable to turn a good first-half performance into a lead.

Mersnik denied Roberts a second time as she headed at goal from James' corner, with Wales almost made to pay for their succession of missed chances.

Grainger's side might easily have trailed at the interval as they switched off on 42 minutes, but Slovenia captain Mateja Zver fired over after racing clear following a miscommunication between Roberts and goalkeeper Laura O'Sullivan.

Wales were on the backfoot at the start of the second half but Lara Prasnikar and Dominica Conc failed to find the target with shots from distance, while at the other end another James set-piece panicked the hosts but Holland just failed to produce a telling shot.

A lovely Wales move saw Fishlock and Natasha Harding fashion a chance for Green, but Mersnik bravely denied her with a smothering save.

Another massive chance arrived for Wales on 67 minutes, but Fishlock's looping header from Holland's cross hit the roof of the net.

Wales paid the price for their myriad misses when they failed to clear and substitute Rogan fired home to give the hosts the lead.

The goal was harsh on Wales and they responded within two minutes as their set-piece superiority finally told as Green headed home James' free-kick.

Green's joy soon turned to misery when she was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for a lunging tackle on Mersnik in a match that saw eight bookings issued.

Wales' numerical disadvantage effectively ended their attacking ambitions but they closed out the game without a major scare to earn a valuable point, despite Adrijana Mori heading wide in stoppage time.

Line-ups

Slovenia Women

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Mersnik
  • 16Erzen
  • 2Golob
  • 5RozmaricBooked at 52mins
  • 7ErmanBooked at 90mins
  • 10ConcSubstituted forMoriat 68'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 6KorosecBooked at 45mins
  • 14KolblSubstituted forMilovicat 68'minutes
  • 20BegicBooked at 33minsSubstituted forRoganat 45'minutes
  • 8Zver
  • 11PrasnikarBooked at 11mins

Substitutes

  • 3Prsa
  • 4Kos
  • 9Mori
  • 12Sapek
  • 13Kustrin
  • 15Makovec
  • 17Krizaj
  • 18Rogan
  • 19Milovic
  • 21Klopcic
  • 22Nemet
  • 23Predanic

Wales

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1O'Sullivan
  • 5Roberts
  • 14Ladd
  • 3Evans
  • 17Morgan
  • 8James
  • 11Harding
  • 4Ingle
  • 10Fishlock
  • 18Holland
  • 9GreenBooked at 75mins

Substitutes

  • 2Woodham
  • 6Green
  • 7Ward
  • 12Clark
  • 13Hughes
  • 15Cain
  • 16Estcourt
  • 19Wynne
  • 20Jones
  • 21Soper
  • 22Filbey
  • 23Morgan

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Slovenia Women 1, Wales Women 1.

  2. Second Half ends, Slovenia Women 1, Wales Women 1.

  3. Foul by Adrijana Mori (Slovenia Women).

  4. Angharad James (Wales Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Offside, Wales Women. Esther Morgan tries a through ball, but Ceri Holland is caught offside.

  6. Adrijana Mori (Slovenia Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Foul by Adrijana Mori (Slovenia Women).

  8. Ceri Holland (Wales Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Attempt missed. Adrijana Mori (Slovenia Women) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Kristina Erman with a cross.

  10. Kristina Erman (Slovenia Women) is shown the yellow card.

  11. Foul by Spela Rozmaric (Slovenia Women).

  12. Jess Fishlock (Wales Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Foul by Adrijana Mori (Slovenia Women).

  14. Angharad James (Wales Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Attempt blocked. Ana Milovic (Slovenia Women) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Adrijana Mori.

  16. Attempt blocked. Kristina Erman (Slovenia Women) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is blocked.

  17. Foul by Adrijana Mori (Slovenia Women).

  18. Hayley Ladd (Wales Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Corner, Slovenia Women. Conceded by Rhiannon Roberts.

  20. Second yellow card to Kayleigh Green (Wales Women) for a bad foul.

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