Rachel Rowe scores Wales' winner against Belarus on return from ACL injury

Rachel Rowe has now played 16 times for Wales (PA Images)
Rachel Rowe has now played 16 times for Wales (PA Images)
8:31am, Wed 09 Oct 2019
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Rachel Rowe scored the winner on her first international start for a year as Wales beat Belarus to keep alive their hopes of Euro 2021 qualification.

The 27-year-old winger suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury towards the back end of 2018 which kept her out for a sustained period of time, but was sharp to fire home the only goal of the game seven minutes from time.

The Welsh were denied a penalty after half an hour when Natasha Harding was brought down by Belarussian keeper Nataliya Voskobovich, with referee Tanja Subotic unmoved.

And it seemed as if Jayne Ludlow's side were going to be kept to a frustrating draw, before Rowe popped up at the back post to rifle a low shot across the goal and inside the far post late on to spark jubilant scenes for the away fans.

It is Rowe's first goal for Wales, but one which she remained modest about despite its importance for the country's qualification hopes.

She said: "I don't feel anything other than pride when I put that shirt on.

"It doesn't really matter that I scored to be honest. I'm proud to have scored, but it could have been an own goal as far as I'm concerned.

"We got the win, the team played well, we won ugly. It's a hard place to come and play against Belarus and at the end of the day we wanted the three points so the fact that I scored doesn't matter."

Wales currently sit second in their group on seven points, two points behind Norway and four in front of Belarus.

The nine group winners all qualify automatically for Euro 2021 along with the three best runners-up.

The remaining six teams who finish second in their group are forced to compete in a two-legged play-off to decide the final three places.

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