Wales Pair Believe Rhian Wilkinson Has Already Built Platform For Euro Success

WREXHAM, WALES - APRIL 05: Rachel Rowe of Wales in action during the UEFA Women's European Qualifier match between Wales and Croatia on April 05, 2024 in Wrexham, Wales. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Wales Pair Believe Rhian Wilkinson Has Already Built Platform For Euro Success

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By Hannah Blackwell

Wales goalscorers Ffion Morgan and Rachel Rowe believe new manager Rhian Wilkinson has laid solid foundations for a successful Euro qualification campaign after back-to-back victories.

Morgan and Rowe were both on the scoresheet as Wales maintained a perfect start to their Euro 2025 mission with a comprehensive 6-0 win over Kosovo in Podujevo on Tuesday.

After two games, Wales have already opened up a three-point lead at the top of Group L, with all four teams having played two matches.

Rowe and Kayleigh Barton were on target in the first half, with both goals set up by Jess Fishlock, making her 150th international appearance and captaining the side.

Rowe added a deflected effort before substitute Morgan slotted in from close range.

Elise Hughes came off the bench to hit a late double as Wales wrapped up another comfortable victory under Wilkinson, following on from beating Croatia 4-0 in Wrexham.

“It just shows the work we’re doing is coming out on the pitch, we created multiple opportunities today,” said Morgan.

“I hope with my pace and my ability to get forward that she (Wilkinson) likes that. She gives me the confidence to get at people, I constantly hear her on the sideline pushing me up the field. That confidence is very helpful.

“Hopefully, I can keep this going and get some more opportunities.”

Rangers strikerl Rowe said: “I think we needed to find our feet. It’s a small pitch and we had to adjust to a compact game.

“I think we did especially in the second half, we had multiple attempts and it was a convincing win for us.

“We have such a diverse group in experience. I think we’ve got leaders in this squad, it doesn’t matter how many caps you’ve got, we all play our part.”

Rowe made the breakthrough when she drilled home a low shot in the 21st minute after being set up by Fishlock at the edge of the box.

Wales doubled their lead just before half-time when Fishlock’s precision through ball found Barton, who slotted into the bottom corner.

Wales added a third just before the hour as Rowe played a quick one-two with substitute Angharad James before firing in an angled drive which deflected off Blerta Smaili and into the net.

Wales scored another in the 62nd minute when Rowe turned provider with a cross which was stabbed home at the far post by Morgan.

Chelsea midfielder Sophie Ingle – who has stepped down as Wales skipper after nine years in the role – volleyed over from close range.

Crystal Palace forward Hughes then tapped in with five minutes left following Holland’s driving run down the left and stabbed home her second in stoppage time.

Wales next face Ukraine in Llanelli on May 31 as they look to stay on course for the play-offs.

Wilkinson said: “I’m really proud of the team and we had multiple different goal scorers, I’m very proud of that.

“Today wasn’t easy we had to fight for that win. Kosovo came out and gave us a great game. It was hot and the players found a way to win, I’m very proud.

“It’s a privilege to work in this game and to work for Wales. To stand on the touchline and watch the girls give everything for their country, it’s the dream job.

“Qualifying goes very quickly, it’s always about the next game.

“We’ve had two good performances and we will now talk about consistency. How we keep building on these performances and keeping these standards is what we’ll look for going forward.”

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