Following their historic FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign that ended in play-off heartbreak, Cymru looked to banish that disappointment to the annals of history as they completed the 2022 international calendar with a challenge match against Finland.
The match took place in the neutral venue of Pinatar in Spain where Gemma Grainger was pleased to see her team take the lead.
Jess Fishlock’s class shone through as she ran up the right to take the ball around Eveliina Summanen before crossing low across the box where she found Carrie Jones who was able to tap the ball past Anna Tamminen.
Cymru led at the break but were dealt a blow in the second half when Rhiannon Roberts was adjudged to have handled the ball. When a Finland player attempted to cross the ball, it struck Roberts’ arm in a natural position at her side. Despite this, the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty.
Summanen stepped up and put the ball down the middle with Olivia Clark diving to her left.
Neither team could find a second goal but Cymru will be pleased with the draw against a Finland team who have qualified for four European Championships to date. And that is the prize that Grainger has her sights on when Cymru return to action next year.
The hosts of UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 will be announced in January 2023 with qualification taking place later in the year. An explainer for the new UEFA women’s national team competition system can be found here.
CYMRU: Laura O’Sullivan (Olivia Clark 62’), Rhiannon Roberts (Charlie Estcourt 73’), Hayley Ladd, Gemma Evans, Lily Woodham, Sophie Ingle (capt), Angharad James (Ffion Morgan 62’), Jess Fishlock, Rachel Rowe, Carrie Jones (Megan Wynne 72’), Kayleigh Green (Elise Hughes, 78’).
Subs: Safia Middleton-Patel, Maria Francis-Jones,, Helen Ward, Anna Filbey, Chloe Bull, Chloe Williams, Georgia Walters.
FINLAND: Anna Tamminen, Eva Nyström, Ria Öling (Nora Heroum 90+2’), Emma Koivisto, Tiia Peltonen, Adelina Engman (Katariina Kosola 74’), Olga Ahtinen, Natalia Kuikka, Linda Sällström (capt) Eveliina Summanen, Jutta Rantala (Sanni Franssi 63’).
Subs: Milla-Maj Majasaari, Tinja-Riikka Korpela, Nanne Ruuskanen, Juliette Kemppi, Emmi Siren, Heidi Kollanen, Nea Lehtola, Emma Peuhkurinen, Oona Siren, Joanna Tynnilä.
CYMRU 1-1 FINLAND
International Challenge Match
- Saturday, 12 November 2022
- Pinatar Arena, Pinatar, Spain