United States 2-0 Cymru
• Substitute Trinity Rodman scores twice for United States
• Cymru put in resilient defensive display but cannot hold world champions
• First ever women’s international outside of Europe for Cymru
• Jess Fishlock misses out through hamstring injury
Despite being without key players Jess Fishlock, Rachel Rowe and captain Sophie Ingle, Cymru pushed world champions the United States all the way in the heat of San Jose and were denied a famous result only by two late goals from substitute Trinity Rodman.
Goalkeeper Olivia Clark was handed a place in the starting line-up and denied Lindsey Horan in the early exchanges while the impressive Sophia Smith continued to cause problems for the Cymru defence. Although the United States enjoyed long periods of possession, chances were limited as Cymru defended resolutely.
Counter-attacks were rare for Gemma Grainger’s side, but the home side were left frustrated despite the best efforts of the home fans to create a carnival atmosphere. For all their dominance, Cymru stood up to the challenge and put in a well-organised and disciplined defensive display to subdue the fans who had come to send their heroes off to the World Cup on a high.
A collision with Alyssa Thompson left Lily Woodham with a lump above her eye and the defender was replaced by Esther Morgan at half-time. The United States continued to dominate proceedings, but Cymru more than matched their opponents physically and the 2nd half proved to be more competitive as Grainger’s side grew in confidence and belief.
Striker Kayleigh Green showed her defensive qualities midway through the 2nd half to head the ball off the line and deny the home side from taking the lead. However, the United States eventually went ahead when Smith squared the ball to substitute Trinity Rodman and she made no mistake to beat Clark from close range.
Rodman then scored her second of the game on 87 minutes as she struck a superb effort from outside the area into the top corner of the net. It was a cruel way for the game to end for Cymru, but Grainger will be proud of the way her team stood up to the challenge, and despite the scoreline this is another important step forward in the progression and development of this side.