Women’s World Cup qualifying: Wales down Estonia in front of record crowd

Wales cruised to a 4-0 World Cup qualifying win against Estonia in front of a record crowd at the Cardiff City Stadium. Angharad James gave Wales a 1-0 half-time lead and Helen Ward, Natasha Harding and captain Sophie Ingle all struck in the second period.

The 5,455 crowd in Cardiff is a new record for a home women’s international, beating Wales’ previous best of 5,053, for a World Cup qualifier against England at Rodney Parade in 2018.

Wales, who have never qualified for a major tournament, remain in second place in Group I, two points behind leaders France.

Northern Ireland suffered late heartache as Stefanie Enzinger’s stoppage-time equaliser denied them what would have been a famous win over Austria at Seaview.

Two goals in five minutes from Laura Wade and Demi Vance had put Northern Ireland in control after Barbara Dunst gave the visitors a half-time lead, but they could not quite hold out for a third win in Group D as it finished 2-2.

Scotland slipped to a 2-0 friendly defeat as Sweden struck two late goals. The Scots, second in their World Cup qualifying group after three matches, proved spirited opposition for the world’s second-ranked nation.

Barcelona forward Fridolina Rolfo broke the deadlock with a superb long-range effort before Sophie Howard’s own goal sealed Sweden’s victory.

Denise O’Sullivan’s second-half header powered the Republic of Ireland to a 2-1 victory away to Finland.

Bouncing back from last week’s home defeat to Sweden in their opening qualifier, the Republic led at the break through Megan Connolly’s free-kick, but Finland responded through Adelina Engman.

O’Sullivan restored the Republic’s lead in the 56th minute, but Vera Pauw’s side had to withstand something of an onslaught from a side expected to rival them for second place behind the favoured Swedes in Group A.