Gemma Grainger's first match as Cymru manager was against a strong Canadian side ranked eighth in the world. Cymru boasted a wealth of experience with centurions Jess Fishlock and captain Sophie Ingle involved from the start after a positive week of preparation under the new manager.
However, Canada took the lead midway through the opening half as Deanne Rose evaded the attention of Lily Woodham to find herself in space on the right and fired a powerful shot past Laura O'Sullivan. The goal prompted a positive response from Cymru, and Kayleigh Green, on her 50th international apperance, came close to levelling shortly after as the home side pushed forward in numbers.
An injury for veteran Christine Sinclair saw the Canadian captain replaced after half an hour as Evelyne Viens entered the field, and it was the substitute Viens who would double the advantage for Canada when she converted from close-range just before the hour mark. Appeals for a Cymru penalty were dismissed, but a fine finish from Jessie Fleming on 62 minutes increased the lead for the visitors as the once disciplined Cymru defence began to lose its earlier composure.
It was encouraging that Cymru once again showed a positive reaction to conceding two quick goals, but clear-cut chances remained limited, despite the side asking a number of questions in the final third. The disciplined back four may have lost its shape in the latter stages of the match, but a relentlessly energetic midfield provided a foundation for the team to push forward as a unit.
Cymru XI: O'Sullivan (GK), Evans, Ingle (c), R. Roberts, James, K. Green, Fishlock, Harding, Rowe, Holland, Woodham.
Subs: Clark (GK), Soper (GK), Filbey, J. Green, Ward, Williams, Hughes, Estcourt, B. Roberts, Jones, Walters, Francis-Jones, F. Morgan, E. Morgan, Nolan.
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