The New Saints’ Park Hall Stadium hosted two international football matches yesterday after the Under 19’s Wales Ladies, Under 19’s Croatia Ladies, Under 19’s Azerbaijan Ladies and Under 19’s Belgium Ladies competed in the Under 19 UEFA Qualifying Tournament.
Wales started their UEFA Under-19 qualifying tournament with a comprehensive defeat to an impressive Azerbaijan side at Park Hall on Tuesday lunchtime.
Azerbaijan, and in particular striker Yaiza Relea, showed their attacking intentions early when Relea latched onto a cross-field ball from Kristina Bakarandze but was denied by the crossbar on 12 minutes. Relea then tested Wales goalkeeper Charlotte Edmunds from distance with a free-kick five minutes later.
However, Wales would take the lead through Ceri Holland on 22 minutes when she capitalised on a mistake from Azerbaijan captain and goalkeeper Aytaj Sharifova to slot the ball into an empty net. But within two minutes, the visitors were level, as Relea turned provider after Edmunds could only parry her effort into the path of Bakarandze to equalise from close range.
On 34 minutes Azerbaijan took the lead as a superb through ball from Aysun Aliyeva, booked earlier in the match for a foul on Wales captain Charlotte Estcourt, split the Wales defence and allowed Relea the time and space to finish. The lead could have been extended before the break when Relea again found herself in space but the crossbar again came between her and a goal celebration.
Wales made two changes at half-time as Aleisha Cruwys replaced Ffion Llewellyn in defence and Laura Mitchell was brought in place of Katy Hosford to offer Jayne Ludlow’s side an alternative option in attack. However, it was Azerbaijan who looked the more likely to increase their goal tally and on 52 minutes Charlotte Edmunds was again called into action to deny Nigar Jalilli and Bakarandze.
On 62 minutes Jalilli increased Azerbaijan’s lead as Relea again turned provider, and having been denied by Edmunds from long-range on 69 minutes, it was Relea who scored her second of the game on 72 minutes when she combined with Jalilli to complete the scoring.
Wales: Edmunds (GK), Edwards, Tinman, Estcourt (c), Dodge, Llewellyn (Cruwys 46), Regan (Buckley 58), Jumratie, Holland, Hosford (Mitchell 46), Piggot.
Unused subs : Buck (GK), Miles, Fuller, Price.
Goals : Ceri Holland (22)
Azerbaijan: Sharifova (GK)(c), Sanchez, Borukova, Loa, M.Ortiz, Relea, Jalilli (Mansimova 78), Bakarandze (Michaelis 83), Aliyeva (Z.Mammadova 67), Mollayeva, S.Ortiz.
Unused subs : Ismayilova,, D.Mammadova,, Gasimova, Guliyeva.
Goals : Bakarandze (24), Relea (34, 72), Jalilli (62)
Yellow cards : Aysun Aliyeva (Azerbaijan)
Red cards : None.
Referee : Ana Aguiar (Portugal).
Assistant referees : Vanessa Alexandra Dias (Portugal), Katarzyna Wojs (Poland)
Fourth official : Katarzyna Lisiecka-sek.
BELGIUM 4-0 CROATIA
UEFA Women’s Under-19 Qualifying Tournament 2015 – Group 3
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
An enforced change for Croatia on 27 minutes saw Sara Schafer-Hansen depart for hospital with a suspected broke collar bone as the imposing figure of Doris Tomi was introduced with the aim of preventing Belgium from continuing to enjoy the majority of the possession. Although captain Matea Bošnjak had made an early impression for Croatia, Belgium soon settled into a passing rhythm that would dictate the remainder of the half.
The opening goal finally arrived two minutes into first half stoppage time when Croatia’s Dora Pezelj Drezga attempted to clear the ball off the line, but served only to find the top of the net. However, it was not more than Belgium deserved, with Chloe Velde and Jody Vangheluwe equally impressive and effective in Belgium’s attacking play.
Belgium confirmed their superiority in the second half as Chloe Velde capitalised on a well-placed cross from captain Isabelle Iliano to double their lead on 61 minutes. Petra Baldewijns added a third on 68 minutes, and the score was completed by substitute Henriëtte Awete deep into injury-time as she burst through the Croatian defence to take her side to the top of Group 3.
Belgium: Fernandez (GK), Vangheluwe (De Frère – 77), Raemdonck, Tison (Guns -60), Van Mingeroet, Appermont, Velde, Baldewijns, Maximus (Awete -82), Iliano (c).
Unused subs : Geeraert (GK), Merchiers, Wijns, Van Poppel.
Goals : Pezelj Drezga (own goal) (45+2), Velde (61), Baldewijns (68), Awete (90+5).
Croatia: Sabo (GK), Duli (Radoš – 80), Devi, Kunštek, Pezelj Drezga (Zduni – 68), Bošnjak (c), Slipevi, Mihi, Schafer-Hansen (Tomi – 27), Stvori.
Unused subs : Goriki (GK), Braevi, Škvari.
Goals : None
Yellow cards : Maximus (75) (Belgium) – Duli (54), Kunštek (83), Tomi (90+1) (Croatia).
Red cards : None
Referee : Ivana Projkovska (FYR Macedonia).
Assistant referees : Biljana Milanova (FYR Macedonia), Laura Griffiths (Wales)
Fourth official : Cheryl Foster (Wales)