Cymru Finish Pinatar Cup Unbeaten with Scotland Draw

Cymru rounded off the 2023 Pinatar Cup with a 1-1 draw against Scotland.

Sophie Howard powered home the opener to give Scotland an early lead in Spain but Cymru replied later in the first half when Ceri Holland finished off a well-worked move from Gemma Grainger’s side.

The result sees Cymru finish their Pinatar Cup campaign unbeaten following a victory over the Philippines and draw with Iceland.

Grainger made four changes from Cymru’s clash with the Icelanders three days earlier as Olivia Clark, Josie Green, Charlie Estcourt and Hannah Cain – who was handed her first start – were brought into the starting line up in place of Laura O’Sullivan, Hayley Ladd, Rhiannon Roberts and Rachel Rowe respectively.

Cymru had earned a 1-0 win over the Philippines and a goalless draw with Iceland in their first two matches and were looking to end the tournament unbeaten, but they fell behind early on.

Scotland took the lead inside the opening eight minutes when Howard guided home Erin Cuthbert’s corner with a powerful header into the bottom corner.

Jess Fishlock nearly carved open Cymru’s first opportunity in front of goal but her through ball to Kayleigh Green was intercepted by Nicola Doherty, who recovered well to snuff out the counter-attack.

Scotland had enjoyed the majority of possession throughout the first half but Cymru drew level against the run of play just before half time. Goalkeeper Clark’s ball down field started the move before Cain and Fishlock combined, with the latter finding Holland’s run with an inch-perfect through ball. The Liverpool forward took a touch and then curled beyond Lee Gibson with a composed finish.

There was a stoppage in play on the stroke of half time following a collision between Fishlock and Fiona Brown, whose injury looked concerning as she was forced off on a stretcher at the interval.

Scotland came close to restoring their lead three minutes into the second half but Abi Harrison’s deft touch from Caroline Weir’s cross went just past the post.

Rowe was sent on for Holland at the break and created an opportunity for Cymru to take the lead seven minutes into the second half. Her ball across the face of goal found Ingle at the back post, but she curled wide of the target.

While Clark had to be alert down the opposite end two minutes later to palm Weir’s powerful effort from 25 yards over the crossbar.

Fishlock could have won it for Cymru with seven minutes left on the clock as she got on the end of Roberts’ low cross, but the midfielder’s shot sailed over the crossbar with what proved to be the final chance for Grainger’s side.

Scotland: Lee Gibson, Nicola Docherty, Rachel Corsie, Sophie Howard, Fiona Brown (Kirsty Smith 45’), Sam Kerr (Chloe Arthur 78′), Caroline Weir, Abi Harrison (Martha Thomas 63′), Claire Emslie (Kirsty Hanson 63′), Lauren Davidson (Brogan Hay 63′), Erin Cuthbert.

Subs not used: Jenna Fife, Eartha Cumings, Emma Mukandi, Kelly Clark, Lisa Evans, Jamie-Lee Napier, Jenna Clark, Christie Murray, Christy Grimshaw.

Cymru: Olivia Clark, Lily Woodham, Gemma Evans, Josie Green, Charlie Estcourt (Rhiannon Roberts 60′), Sophie Ingle, Angharad James, Ceri Holland (Rachel Rowe 45’), Jess Fishlock, Kayleigh Green (Megan Wynne 60′), Hannah Cain (Helen Ward 87′).

Subs not used: Laura O’Sullivan, Hayley Ladd, Esther Morgan, Alice Griffiths, Carrie Jones, Anna Filbey, Georgia Walters, Elise Hughes.

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