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Jess Fishlock goal
Jess Fishlock’s goal was her 31st for Wales

Wales held Denmark to a 1-1 draw in a performance that will give new boss Gemma Grainger much encouragement ahead of World Cup qualifying.

Denmark took the lead midway through the first half when Pernille Harder raced clear and finished calmly.

Wales equalised when Jess Fishlock volleyed home on the hour to cap a fine team move at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Neither side could find a winner in a friendly that was competitive and entertaining throughout.

Grainger, presiding over only her second Wales game, made one change to the side beaten 3-0 by Canada in her first match in charge on Friday night, with Tottenham’s Josie Green replacing Reading’s Lily Woodham.

The change was a significant one as it meant a tactical switch with captain Sophie Ingle deployed in her favoured position of central midfield, a move that also allowed Fishlock to play higher up the field in a number 10 role.

There is no question that Wales are looking to play in a more expansive style under their new boss and good early Wales pressure almost led to a goal, but Gemma Evans’ header was tipped over the bar by Denmark goalkeeper Lene Christensen.

The visitors are ranked 14th in the world and it was no surprise to see them begin to impose themselves after a fast start for Wales – 17 places below Denmark in the Fifa standings.

Sara Thrige shot over and Stine Larsen was then wide with another decent chance, while Emma Snerle’s shot was saved by home goalkeeper Laura O’Sullivan.

A breakthrough appeared inevitable and after skipper Harder missed with a header from close range, she made no mistake five minutes later when she raced clear and rounded O’Sullivan to give Denmark the lead from a swift counter-attack.

Wales, however, responded encouragingly to going behind and produced three good opportunities to equalise before the interval.

Fishlock tested Christensen after a fine move, before Ceri Holland flashed a shot just wide after Rachel Rowe’s pinpoint cross.

Wales’ best move of the half came on 42 minutes when Angharad James, Natasha Harding and Fishlock exchanged passes and James shot at goal, but Christensen turned the ball round the post.

The hosts were clearly growing in confidence and Evans’ shot from a corner was saved by Christensen, before James’ long-range effort was tipped over the bar.

Only a goal was missing from an excellent Wales display and it arrived on the hour mark, when James and Harding again combined and this time there was a finish to match a fine move as Harding’s cross was volleyed home by Fishlock.

Wales’ preparations are now geared towards World Cup qualifying later this year, with the draw set to take place on 30 April, but they will take heart from looking so impressive against a top team in a display that was more expansive than in previous campaigns.

Denmark finished the contest strongly as they pushed for a winner, but Wales deservedly held firm.

Line-ups

Wales

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1O’Sullivan
  • 5Roberts
  • 6Green
  • 3EvansBooked at 77mins
  • 13Rowe
  • 8James
  • 4Ingle
  • 11HardingBooked at 11mins
  • 10Fishlock
  • 17HollandBooked at 75minsSubstituted forHughesat 80′minutes
  • 9Green

Substitutes

  • 2Filbey
  • 7Ward
  • 12Clark
  • 14Williams
  • 15Hughes
  • 16Estcourt
  • 18Roberts
  • 19Woodham
  • 20Jones
  • 21Soper
  • 22Walters
  • 23Francis Jones
  • 24Morgan
  • 25Morgan
  • 26Nolan

Denmark

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Christensen
  • 4Sevecke
  • 5Sørensen
  • 11VejeSubstituted forHolmgaardat 81′minutes
  • 18Thrige Andersen
  • 8SnerleSubstituted forKühlat 81′minutes
  • 13Junge PedersenSubstituted forTroelsgaardat 45′minutesBooked at 70mins
  • 14SørensenBooked at 45mins
  • 12LarsenSubstituted forHoldtat 73′minutes
  • 10HarderSubstituted forMøllerat 73′minutes
  • 6ChristiansenSubstituted forSvavaat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Holdt
  • 7Troelsgaard
  • 9Nadim
  • 15Thøgersen
  • 16Svane
  • 19Holmgaard
  • 20Bruun
  • 21Møller
  • 22Larsen
  • 23Svava
  • 24Kühl
  • 26Hasbo
  • 27Gevitz

Referee:
Stacey Pearson

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Wales Women 1, Denmark Women 1.

  2. Second Half ends, Wales Women 1, Denmark Women 1.

  3. Offside, Wales Women. Rachel Rowe tries a through ball, but Elise Hughes is caught offside.

  4. Attempt missed. Olivia Holdt (Denmark Women) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Nicoline Sørensen.

  5. Foul by Caroline Møller (Denmark Women).

  6. Josie Green (Wales Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Corner, Denmark Women. Conceded by Gemma Evans.

  8. Attempt missed. Katherine Kühl (Denmark Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

  9. Substitution, Denmark Women. Katherine Kühl replaces Emma Snerle.

  10. Substitution, Denmark Women. Sara Holmgaard replaces Katrine Veje.

  11. Substitution, Wales Women. Elise Hughes replaces Ceri Holland.

  12. Gemma Evans (Wales Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Olivia Holdt (Denmark Women) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Foul by Gemma Evans (Wales Women).

  15. Ceri Holland (Wales Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  16. Sara Thrige Andersen (Denmark Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Foul by Ceri Holland (Wales Women).

  18. Corner, Wales Women. Conceded by Sara Thrige Andersen.

  19. Substitution, Denmark Women. Caroline Møller replaces Pernille Harder.

  20. Substitution, Denmark Women. Olivia Holdt replaces Stine Larsen.

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