Rachel Rowe on Target As Wales Women Draw With Portugal in Guimaraes
Rachel Rowe scored the only goal as Wales Women rallied from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw against Portugal at Guimaraes. It was an exciting contest and Rowe’s stunning volley was the highlight of what otherwise was an impressive performance from Wales Women.
Wales will now get to test themselves against current World Cup champions the USA in a friendly on 9 July. Manager Gemma Grainger stated: “This is an incredible chance for us to test ourselves against one of the top teams in the world.”
Rachel Rowe’s stunning volley
On Tuesday afternoon, Wales Women earned a point with Rachel Rowe’s stunning volley that earned them a 1-1 draw against World Cup bound Portugal in Guimaraes. Five days after they defeated Northern Ireland 4-1, Gemma Grainger’s side will go into the Nations League in confident spirits.
Wales kept the pressure on in the second half, eventually levelling with Reading striker Rowe 17 minutes from time. A clearance from Angharad James was expertly volleyed into the net by Rowe to give Gemma Grainger’s side a point.
The two best-ranked playoff second-round winners will now move forward to Australia and New Zealand for the finals in July. The other will play the interconfederation play-offs in February, with a chance for them to qualify for the World Cup; that draw will take place Friday at 12 CET.
Portugal’s Telma Encarnacao opener
Rachel Rowe’s stunning volley earned Wales Women a point in their opening match since winning the Northern Ireland title. Gemma Grainger’s side had fallen behind to Telma Encarnacao’s goal in the second half, but Rowe hit an exquisite volley into the bottom corner to salvage a point for Wales Women.
Following their 2-2 draw against Northern Ireland earlier this week, the Matildas will now head to San Jose to face off against four-time World Cup winners, USA on July 9 (kickoff at 9pm Welsh time). For Grainger, this will be an important game as she looks to reward her players after they beat Northern Ireland 4-1 earlier that week.
It was an entertaining match that deserved a draw, despite the Matildas’ luck in front of goal which included a miss on the stroke of half-time. This result is an excellent accomplishment for Grainger and her side as they continue their preparations for the World Cup in Russia next year.
Rachel Rowe’s stunning volley earned Wales Women a 1-1 draw with Portugal in their international friendly. Gemma Grainger’s side had fallen behind to Telma Encarnacao just after half-time, but Rowe came on to level matters up.
Last Thursday, Gemma Grainger made no changes to the squad that faced Portugal. Liv Clark continued in goal while Hannah Cain and Jess Fishlock provided leadership.
Portugal took the lead early on – Noelle Maritz made a great turn on the left and pulled back Lia Walti, who was unmarked inside the box. Her sharp shot flashed past O’Sullivan and into the net for a commanding lead.
Switzerland appeared to have taken control early in the second half when Bachmann danced her way past O’Sullivan before shooting a penalty into the net. Swedish referee Tess Olofsson awarded it after conducting an extensive VAR review.
Portugal’s last-minute effort
Rachel Rowe’s stunning volley was enough to secure Wales Women a 1-1 draw against Portugal in an exciting International Friendlies match. Gemma Grainger kept the same side that beat Northern Ireland 4-1 last Thursday, and they were rewarded for their impressive display by picking up a point away in Guimaraes.
Just after the break, Spain had taken a lead thanks to Telma Encarnacao’s goal, but Rachel Rowe quickly restored parity from outside the box with an amazing volley. This second goal has helped Wales extend their unbeaten run to six matches and brought them level with a team who currently occupies 21st position in FIFA rankings.
The hosts had earlier had opportunities to score, but were ultimately kept at bay. A pass straight from Patricia Morais caught Wales off guard and Gemma Evans made a last-ditch tackle that prevented Encarnacao from scoring.
This was to be the latest test for a Wales side who have routinely faced national sides with experience of playing at major international tournaments under Gemma Grainger.
Their opposition, Portugal, booked their place at this summer’s World Cup with a last-gasp 2-1 win over Cameroon in the inter-confederation playoffs in February.
Gemma Grainger named a totally unchanged side from the team that thrashed Northern Ireland 4-1 on Thursday evening.
Cymru was once again without young stars Carrie Jones and Lily Woodham who were both forced to withdraw from the squad with injuries.
Portugal, however, ripped up the teamsheet from their 2-1 loss to Japan, making 11 changes, as their coach Francisco Neto explores squad depth ahead of their World Cup debut.
Wales saw some joy early on thanks to their high press which caused the opposition problems, much like it did in Cardiff four days previously against Northern Ireland.
That was until the 20th minute when Ana Route’s long-range piledriver came cannoning back off the crossbar.
That chance seemed to wake up the Portuguese players – and the over 11,000 fans inside the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques – as they turned the tide on the game.
A pass straight from Patricia Morais caught the Wales defence napping allowing Encarnação in behind, but a last-ditch tackle from Gemma Evans prevented her shot from testing Oliva Clark.
An injury to Lúcia Alves forced Portugal into an early change midway through the first half, with Ana Borges brought on in her place.
The intensity with which Wales started the first half was missing at the start of the second.
Portugal continued to dictate the game and with 50 minutes on the clock they made their dominance pay by taking the lead.
Telma Encarnação cut in from the right wing, leaving Esther Morgan in her trail, before firing a low-drive left-footed shot through the legs of Evans and past an outstretched Clark.
The Marítimo forward attempted to double her side’s lead with a spectacular overhead kick at 59 minutes, but her effort never really tested the Wales goalkeeper.
Source: Kora live