Rowe’s sweet return sees Wales edge out Belarus


Wales’ Rachel Rowe returned from a year out through injury to reignite their Women’s Euro 2021 qualifying campaign.

The Reading midfielder’s late winner, a low left-foot shot, was her first for her country and saw Wales edge Belarus.

The result keeps Wales second in Group C, two points behind leaders Norway but crucially opens up a four-point gap over third-placed Belarus.

Belarus created good chances, but skipper Anastasiya Shcherbachenia sent the best one over the crossbar.

On balance Wales did deserve all three points with captain Natasha Harding leading from the front, having a strong first-half penalty appeal turned down and hitting the woodwork with a long-range shot.

In the evening’s other pool game, Norway took their goal difference to 25 after thrashing Faroe Islands 13-0.

Wales, looking to bounce back from the disappointing home draw against Northern Ireland, were without injured skipper Sophie Ingle and star midfielder Jess Fishlock.

Ingle was replaced in the squad by Cardiff City’s 17-year-old forward Grace Horrell, with Reading striker Harding taking the captain’s armband.

Manager Jayne Ludlow handed a debut to Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Anna Filbey, while Rowe played her first international for a year after an ACL injury.


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