Cyprus Cup: Finland 0-1 Wales - Kayleigh Green corker gives Wales the win

Dragons off and running in Larnaca.

Cyprus Cup: Finland 0-1 Wales - Kayleigh Green corker gives Wales the win
Credit: VAVEL UK/Sophie Lawson
0 1
Finland: Korpela (c), Hyyryen (Naumanen, min. 63), Koivisto, Auvinen, Engman (Kuikka, min. 57), Kemppi, Alenen, Heroum, Tunturi Hakala, min. 50), Westerlund, Collin
Wales: O’Sullivan, Roberts, Ingle (c), Dykes, Rowe, Harding (Ward, min. 78), James, Fishlock (Griffiths, min. 83), Evans (Lawrence, min. 40 (Fletcher, min. 90)), Green (Nolan, min. 69), Estcourt (Miles, min. 57)
SCORE: 0-1, min. 53, Green.
REFEREE: Guillemin (FRA)
INCIDENTS: Cyprus Cup group match between Finland and Wales held at the Antonis Papadopoulos, Larnaca

In a typical game of two halves, Finland failed to capitalise when they were on top and Wales were clinical when it counted to get their Cyprus Cup off to a flying start.

Finns fail to make anything stick

The first ten minutes passed without incident, the Welsh rather camped in their own half as Finland happily pinged balls over the top in hope that Kaisa Collin and Juliette Kemppi could cause some havoc. They could not.

Pushed back, the Dragons looked for their moments, a punt from Angharad James, a rising shot from Charlie Estcourt, Tinja-Riikka Korpela looking more than comfortable even if her centre-backs didn’t always promote the most confidence.

Despite their dominance, the best the Pearl Owls could offer in the first twenty minutes was a hopeful strike from Emma Koivisto, the defender striding forward and firing wide from range.

Refusing her chance to shoot, Adelina Engman slid the ball sideways to Emmi Alanen, the attackers' ball aimed not at the goal but two inches beyond the back-post, her teammate could only draw a save.

The resulting corner crested to the far post, Julia Tunturi’s header enough to see the ball land on the roof of the net but cause no more trouble.

It wasn’t until the match was half an hour old that Laura O’Sullivan was forced to make a save, the ‘keeper hanging to grab Collin’s header, her clean sheet never in any real danger.

Causing a few more problems in and around the Welsh box, Helmarit still failed to ask any questions of the British opposition, a lash from Nora Heroum the next on the list of disappointing efforts.

The first half drew to a close in familiar fashion to the rest of it, the Finns attacking but struggling for anything meaningful.

Wales come out firing

Starting the half with more purpose, Wales were the team pressing the issue at the restart, a neat free-kick saw their best chance of the game, Sophie Ingle’s ball sent through to Kayleigh Green who’d peeled off of Tuija Hyyrynen.

A second ahead of her marker, Green lashed the ball at goal, her effort flying across the face and slipping behind.

Spotting Korpela just off of her line, Green let fly from range, having measured her lobbed effort perfectly, the ball arced down curling just over the ‘keeper’s outstretched gloves.

The Dragons in the ascendancy as Finland scrambled to clear and ease the pressure.

Looking for their first half rhythm, the Pearl Owls asserted themselves back into the game, though against a brighter-looking Wales team the ball bounced from one end of the pitch and back again.

Both teams looked for the next goal, the Finns with more gaps at the back but the Dragons unable to exploit, Finland still doing next to nothing in the final third.

In a half best explained by saying, there was plenty happening but little to talk about, the minutes began to mount, time fast running out for Finland who had again pushed to the front foot.

Just as in the first half, O’Sullivan remained alert but wasn’t forced to pull out her best moves, cross claiming the highlight of her half.