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Cymru Play Out Goalless Draw with Iceland in Pinatar Cup

Defender Gemma Evans notched up her 50th cap as Cymru played out a goalless draw with Iceland in their second game of the Pinatar Cup.

Cymru are 16 places lower than Iceland in the world rankings but it was Gemma Grainger’s side who enjoyed the better of the opportunities throughout the evening.

They limited Iceland to few chances and enjoyed opportunities of their own in front of goal, with Ceri Holland and Rachel Rowe both going close.

They were unable to find a breakthrough but did enough in defence to keep their second clean sheet of the tournament against an Iceland side who have reached the last four UEFA European Championship finals. 

Grainger made two changes from Cymru’s opening win over the Philippines three days earlier. Laura O’Sullivan replaced Safia Middleton-Patel, who departed camp early to join up with Cymru’s under-19s in Portugal, and Jess Fishlock was brought in for Carrie Jones. 

Cymru’s high press caused Iceland issues throughout the first half and it almost led to an early opener after nine minutes. Fishlock dispossessed Karolina Vilhjalmsdottir and found the onrushing Rowe, but her right-footed effort sailed over the crossbar. 

Rowe then turned provider and her cross-field ball picked out Holland, who stretched to get on the end of it and shot over the crossbar.

But Cymru were nearly undone up the opposite end almost immediately after Sveindis Jonsdottir was sent through on goal, only for Evans made a crucial block to prevent the midfielder from picking out a team-mate in the area.

Rowe went close again after getting on the end of Angharad James’ cutback from the byline, but she shot straight at goalkeeper Celia Rundarsdottir. 

Another chance fell Cymru’s way minutes into the second half when Kayleigh Green’s through ball was collected by Holland. The winger got beyond two defenders in the area and then curled an effort over the crossbar.

Jonsdottir was the most threatening Iceland player throughout and she nearly broke the deadlock with four minutes left on the clock. Aslaug Gunnlaugsdottir’s corner found her unmarked in the penalty area but she failed to make a strong connection with the ball in what proved to be the final opportunity. 

The result sees Cymru sit second in the Pinatar Cup table ahead of their final fixture of the tournament against Scotland on Tuesday.

Iceland: Celia Rundarsdottir, Elisa Vidarsdottir, Glodis Viggosdottir, Gunnhildur Jonsdottir (Amanda Andradottir 76′), Selma Magnusdottir, Karolina Vilhjalmsdottir (Dagny Brynjarsdottir 62′), Berglind Porvaldsdottir (Olof Kristinsdottir 62′), Hlin Eiriksdottir (Dilja Zomers 62′), Gudrun Arnardottir, Aslaug Gunnlaugsdottir, Sveindis Jonsdottir. 

Subs not used: Sandra Sigurdardottir, Telma Ivarsdottir, Ingibjorg Sigurdardottir, Arna Asgrimsdottir, Alexandra Johannsdottir, Agla Albertsdottir, Hafrun Halldorsdottir.

Cymru: Laura O’Sullivan, Lily Woodham, Gemma Evans, Hayley Ladd, Rhiannon Roberts, Sophie Ingle (C), Angharad James, Rachel Rowe, Jess Fishlock (Hannah Cain 63’), Ceri Holland, Kayleigh Green (Carrie Jones 84′).

Subs not used: Olivia Clark, Josie Green, Charlie Estcourt, Esther Morgan, Ella Powell, Anna Filbey, Megan Wynne, Georgia Walters, Elise Hughes, Helen Ward.

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