Wales women praised despite missing out on World Cup play-offs

Wales' 3-0 defeat to England in Newport on Friday was the first of their qualifying campaign
Wales' 3-0 defeat to England in Newport on Friday was the first of their qualifying campaign

Football Association of Wales chief Jonathan Ford says Wales women have been "tremendous" in qualifying despite failing to reach the World Cup finals.

Wales were in contention to top their group and qualify automatically until Friday's 3-0 loss to England.

Jayne Ludlow's side still had a chance to be in the play-offs, but results on Tuesday did not go their way.

"Everyone is bitterly disappointed that we didn't make the play-offs for next year's Women's World Cup," Ford said.

"However, Jayne and the players have been truly tremendous and I congratulate them on what they have achieved for the women's game here in Wales."

Wales needed both Belgium and Iceland to lose to have a second chance to qualify through the play-offs - which will see four teams contest one place at the 2019 finals - but Belgium beat Italy 2-1 and Iceland drew 1-1 with the Czech Republic,

That meant the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and Denmark secured the play-off spots, with Wales - who have never played at a World Cup finals - finishing a solitary point off the play-off places with a lower goal difference.

The seven European group winners have qualified for the finals in France, including England and Scotland.

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