Cymru suffer stoppage time heartbreak against Ukraine

Ukraine 2-2 Cymru

  • Cymru come from behind to take lead before heartbreak
  • Croatia top group following 2-0 win over Kosovo
  • Kosovo next opponents for Cymru in July. Secure tickets here.

Cymru suffered stoppage-time heartbreak as Ukraine scored a last-gasp goal to earn a 2-2 draw in UEFA Women’s EURO qualifying. 

Ukraine took a shock lead when Yana Kalinina finished off a quick breakaway in the first half, but Kayleigh Barton’s penalty in the 74th minute and Jess Fishlock’s wonder strike two minutes later completed the turnaround for Wilkinson’s side in Poznan.

It looked as though Cymru would be remaining at the top of their qualifying group before substitute Nicole Kozlova headed home in the seventh minute of stoppage time to secure a point for Ukraine.

Wilkinson make four changes from Friday’s outing in Llanelli, with Rachel Rowe, Lois Joel, Carrie Jones and Barton replacing Lily Woodham, Rhiannon Roberts, Ffion Morgan and Mary McAteer in the starting lineup.

Cymru flew out of the traps and enjoyed several chances in the opening five minutes. Gemma Evans’ long pass forward picked out the run of Rowe, who forced a low save out of the Ukraine goalkeeper with less than 60 seconds on the clock.

Fishlock then saw her effort deflected behind for a corner. Cymru continued to apply the pressure as Barton then got on the end of Rowe’s corner before heading over the crossbar.

Another perfectly weighted pass from Evans then setup another chance for Cymru. The defender found the onrushing Barton, who got a shot away from a tight angle and beat the Ukraine goalkeeper but Lyubov Shmatko was there to clear the ball off the line. 

Cymru had enjoyed the better of the opportunities but it was Ukraine who took the lead with a clinical counter-attack 10 minutes before the break. Olha Ovdiychuk’s quick breakaway resulted in her finding an unmarked Kalinina, who fired in the opening goal to put Ukraine ahead at the break.

Cymru finally found the equaliser with 16 minutes left on the clock when Barton was dragged down in the penalty area. The striker stepped up to take the spot-kick and made no mistake in blasting beyond the Ukraine goalkeeper for the second time in the space of five days.

Fishlock then rifled home a wonder strike from 25 yards shortly after the restart and it put Cymru on course to sealing their third win of the qualifying campaign.

But substitute Kozlova headed home from Daryna Apanashchenko’s cross in the dying seconds to ensure the spoils were shared.

Cymru return to action when they face Croatia on Friday 12 July before facing Kosovo four days later at Parc y Scarlets on Tuesday 16 July. Click here to secure your tickets.

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