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Harding scores in Wales rout, seven Blues feature for England

Eight of Manchester City Women's stars featured on the international stage in a positive evening for Wales and England.

Natasha Harding helped the Dragons to their first victory of their Euro 2017 qualifying campaign with her 39th international goal, while all seven of the Blues' Lionesses competed in a friendly draw against Germany.

Harding, Karen Bardsley, Steph Houghton, Demi Stokes, Lucy Bronze and Jill Scott all completed the full 90 minutes, while Isobel Christiansen and Toni Duggan came off the bench in the second half.

Wales romped to a 4-0 win over Kazakhstan, while England earned a hard-fought 0-0 draw in Duisburg ahead of Sunday's homecoming qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Harding opened the scoring for the Dragons in Haverfordwest, heading in from close range to open her side's account, after Sophie Ingle had kept Helen Bleazard's corner alive.

Despite starting at left-back, the City star found herself on the scoresheet two minutes after half-time, having cleared off the line at the other end.

Reflecting on the triumph with mcfc.co.uk, she declared: "I didn't think I'd score at left-back if I'm honest but I did and most importantly, we got the three points.

"That was the main objective - I'd have taken that over scoring - and we're all really happy. In the first half, we didn't have too many chances - we maybe had two that we should have put away - but Jayne [Ludlow] told us to relax.

"It was still 0-0 and we were creating and it was only a matter of time before something happened for us. We fully expected Kazakhstan to defend and that's what they did but once we got the one, the floodgates opened.

"We never lack in confidence - Jayne always ensures that - and we're enjoying our football. Everyone could see that in our performance.

"We can fully focus on the Israel game now and take everything we can there to three points again."

A hat-trick from half-time substitute Helen Ward completed the scoring, lifting the Dragons to third in Group 8 after three games.

Wales travel to Israel on Tuesday, with kick-off at 1pm.

In Germany, the Lionesses wanted to ensure their World Cup third-place play-off win against the Germans was not a mere one-off and fought bravely to come away with a draw.

Bardsley in particular produced an impressive performance, keeping the hosts at bay on a number of occasions, denying Felicitas Rauch and Leonie Maier in the first-half and Dzsenifer Marozsan in the second 45.

The visitors' best chances fell to Stokes and Scott, though the defender could only shoot straight at Laura Benkarth and the midfielder, who reached her 100th cap in October's 1-0 win over Australia, saw a last-gasp curling effort fly just over the bar.

After failing to defeat Germany in 31 years prior to the clash in Canada, England are now unbeaten against them in two games and will head into Sunday's encounter at Ashton Gate full of confidence.

Kick-off is at 3:30pm and will be shown live on BBC Two. Tickets are also available via the FA website.

Scotland are also in Euro 2017 action on Sunday, hosting Macedonia at 3:05pm. Jennifer Beattie and new signing Jane Ross are likely to feature.


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