WALES ended their goal drought with a stoppage-time winner from Kayleigh Green to earn a morale-boosting victory over World Cup-bound New Zealand at Cardiff’s Leckwith Stadium.

It was the first goal for Jayne Ludlow’s side since the 3-0 win over Russia in Newport on June 12 last year and, in truth, they didn’t look like finding the net in front of more than 2,000 enthusiastic fans at the capital’s athletics venue.

It was a something of a smash and grab raid for the hosts, but it is a big boost in what was the final friendly before they kick-off their Euro 2021 qualifying campaign in the Faroe Islands in August.

Wales, ranked 33rd in the world, were outplayed by New Zealand, who are ranked 19th and came into this game on the back of a 1-0 win over Phil Neville’s England.

The visitors are heading to the World Cup in France and they would have finished their warm-up matches with another win if Wales goalkeeper Laura O’Sullivan hadn’t been in such fine form throughout.

Wales rested Jess Fishlock, while the Football Ferns made four changes from the side that beat the Lionesses on Saturday with Hannah Wilkinson, Annalie Longo, Olivia Chance and Anna Green all drafted into the starting XI.

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Chance had the first opportunity of the evening in the eighth minute as she let fly from the edge of the area and saw her shot sail a yard wide of Laura O’Sullivan’s left-hand post.

Rebekah Stott, Sarah Gregorius, Ria Percival and Wilkinson all had half chances before Wales goalkeeper O’Sullivan pulled off an acrobatic save to keep out Wilkinson’s volley in the 31st minute.

O’Sullivan was the hero again five minutes later when she dived to her left to keep out Gregorius’ penalty after the visiting forward had been fouled in the box by Natasha Harding.

Wales created very little until first-half stoppage time when captain Sophie Ingle saw a fierce drive well stopped by New Zealand goalkeeper Erin Nayler.

Wilkinson made way for Rosie White at the break but Ludlow kept faith with her starting XI until just after the hour mark when Emma Jones and Kylie Nolan replaced Helen Ward and Elise Hughes.

White went close with a chipped effort before teammate Katie Bowen’s piledriver from 25 yards out just cleared O’Sullivan’s bar by a foot on 66 minutes.

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Green fired straight at Nayler 13 minutes from time before New Zealand almost grabbed the lead they deserved five minutes from the end when substitute Emma Kete latched onto a long ball through the middle and rounded O’Sullivan.

But experienced defender Loren Dykes was on hand to clear the danger to secure a second successive clean sheet for Wales after the 0-0 draw with the Czech Republic at Rodney Parade in April.

Anna Green’s curling corner then clipped the top of the bar as the rain poured down and Wales sub Jones broke down the other end but her shot was beaten away by Naylor as it skidded off the wet turf.

It looked as if both teams would have to settle for a draw before Green headed home from close range in the 91st minute to send the young fans home happy.

Wales: O’Sullivan, Dykes, Gemma Evans, Ingle, Roberts, Hughes (Nolan, 62), Ward (Jones, 62), Estcourt (Wynne, 84), Green, Harding, Ladd

Subs not used: Clark, Filbey, Lloyd, Woodham, Powell, Georgia Evans

Referee: Lizzy Van Der Helm (Netherlands)

Attendance: 2,011

Argus star player: O’Sullivan