On Sunday night, Wales took the victory over the Faroe Islands, scoring 4, and keeping their hopes of reaching a first major finals on track.
The match started in a frustrating way for Wales, as the hosts miss a couple chances before record scorer Helen Ward broke the deadlock. A quick-fire brace from Natasha Harding and a debut goal from Lily Woodham after the break made the result safe in a match Wales utterly dominated.
Wales lined-up with a 4-3-3 formation, but with a huge emphasis on fluidity with Hayley Ladd playing in defence behind Sophie Ingle, who was given licence to dictate the game from midfield. Helen Ward was also recalled as she looked to add to her record haul of 42 Wales’ goals.
It meant Wales were able to get plenty of bodies forward against a Faroes side who unsurprisingly came looking to stifle Wales and remain compact with a back four defended by a compact midfield of five with only Heidi Sevdal looking to trouble the Wales defenders.
Wales had taken a 3-0 lead in Torshavn in the reverse fixture inside 15 minutes, but though they created a host of early opportunities, they did not take them in an extremely frustrating first period.
The hosts had a height advantage over the visitors and looked to exploit that with Jess Fishlock and Gemma Evans producing some fantastic crosses that Wales really should have converted. Both Kayleigh Green and Angharad James headed over tricky chances in the first 10 minutes and on 13 minutes Natasha Harding headed wide after Evans’ super centre.
Wales’ dominance was clear and Ward twice came close, but saw her first effort saved and then headed just over from close range. Frustration began to set-in when James blazed over and saw another effort tipped behind by Oluva Joensen. However, the pressure simply had to pay and Fishlock’s smart chip released Ward, who finished emphatically to put Wales ahead on 33 minutes.
The relief was palpable and Green then struck the underside of the crossbar with another fierce effort, while Harding saw an effort blocked. Finally, the hosts again struck the woodwork when Joensen brilliantly tipped onto the bar to deny substitute Kylie Nolan with the Faroes goalkeeper emerging from the match with tremendous credit for keeping the score to only four.