A crucial spot in the Play-offs awaits the Northern Ireland women tonight if they can secure an expected win over the Faroe Islands, which will see them move closer to qualifying for the European Championship in 2022 for the first time. However, failure to win can see Wales take their place providing that they can earn a victory over a tough Belarus side. Luke Costello will be keeping you up to date as the action unfolds.
Both Wales and Northern Ireland find themselves locked with 11 points in Group C, with Wales boasting a better goal difference by 13 which unfortunately, will not be enough to see them through if Northern Ireland win tonight. This due to the head-to-head results between the teams. Northern Ireland managed to score two more away goals than Wales when they faced off, and therefore they have the advantage to advance to the Play-off round.
Not to completely rule out the Faroe Islands, but Wales are quite literally hoping for a miracle at Seaview tonight. This Faroe Islands side has conceded 37 goals whilst scoring zero in six group games, but Wales manager Jayne Ludlow says she has “a slight bit of hope that the Faroes could get something.”
Northern Ireland is the only side that comes into this game following a victory as they beat Belarus 3-2 on Friday, with Wales suffering a 1-0 loss to group leaders Norway and the Faroe Islands losing 4-0 to Wales back in October. Ireland manager Kenny Shiels describes this game as “do-or-die” and states he would not know how deal with the “disappointment of the girls” following failure to secure a victory tonight, really showing how important these sets of games are.
Wales and Belarus Line-ups:
Northern Ireland Line-up:
Updates from the Wales v Belarus game will be brought to you in this text.
Updates from the Northern Ireland v Faroe Island game will be brought to you in this text.
The teams are lining up for their respective national anthems, kick off is imminent.
The game is underway, Faroe Islands kick it off.
2″ Lauren Wade has the first shot of the game, saved comfortably by the keeper. Good start from Ireland.
5″ GOAL! Number five slots home a tap in, right place at the right time. She scores the first goal for the Faroes after conceded 37 in their previous games.
7″ GOAL! Rachel Furness. A goalmouth scrambled leads to the goal deflecting in. That lead didn’t last long.
The ladies are lining up for their national anthems, massive game here for Wales.
11″ Callaghan shoots wide, fails to test the keeper.
Belarus get this game underway.
Welsh players take the knee, Belarussians did not however.
4″ Tsurotseva has the first shot of the game that trickles wide, good start from Belarus.
17″ Ireland are juts controlling this game, waiting to carve out a chance.
20″ Number 8 goes down for the Faroes after a collision out here on the left flank.
22″ Wilson connects poorly with the header and it is easily saved by the keeper, still 1-1.
9″ No team having an clear opportunities yet, a few pieces of poor possession.
11″ Natasha Harding meets a beautiful cross from the right-hand side, the keeper makes a good save around the post.
27″ GOAL! Kirsty McGuiness. What a strike! She cuts inside on her weaker foot and places it in the top right corner. 2-1 to Ireland now.
15″ Harding scrambles the ball her after finding herself open in the box with an open goal, good persistence from Fishlock to create the chance.
33″ The Faroes win a free-kick down the left side as their counter attack is broken up.
20″ Morgan looks really dangerous down this right-hand side for Wales as she puts a menacing ball in that is scrambled away.
22″ Harding is fouled in her own half, Belarus are getting stuck into Wales here.
25″ Ingle tries a speculative effort from about 30 yards out, saved by the keeper.
38″ Nelson drives into the box with ease but her shot is blocked.
27″ 17 comes on the pitch for 14, she doesn’t seem very injured so it may be tactical.
42″ Furness jumps for a header in box but just sees it over the bar, Ireland are looking good at Seaview.
31″ Morgan hits the post with an easy header, really should have scored there. Fishlock working tremendously hard to create chance for Wales.
One minute of added time in the first half.
46″ McFadden wins a corner at the end of the half, but nothing comes of it and the half ends. Northern Ireland 2-1 Faroe Islands.
35″ GOAL! Rachel Rowe. A question mark cross/shot finds its way into the top left corner. Absolutely nothing the keeper could do and she’ll be telling the girls she meant that!
37″ Belarus have a shot from long range but it is saved easily by the keeper, no scraps for the strikers.
39″ Belarus have a shot from no less than 35 yards out, could have troubled the keeper with some better technique but it goes over.
42″ Wales look very comfortable defensively, stuffing any attacks the Belarus have with relative ease.
44″ Great ball played over the top by the Belarus captain that is latched onto by the striker, the shot is dragged wide though.
One minute added on at Rodney Parade.
46″ Ladd blocks the shot well to send the ball out for a Belarus corner but it is defended easily and the ref blows for half time. Wales 2-0 Belarus.
Northern Ireland kick off the second half.
46″ Weir whips in a teasing cross but it is defended well and claimed easily by the keeper.
48″ How has she missed that? Callaghan gets the ball literally 2 yards from goal after save from the Faroe’s keeper, but show how shanks it wide, still 2-1 here.
52″ Whenever Ireland get a throw in, they are taking it with such urgency, not allowing the Faroes to regroup for their attacks.
54″ Furness’ shot from deep is blocked and out for a corner. The corner is wasted though.
56″ GOAL! Chloe McCarron, Another world class strike! 25 yards out for goal she let fly a beautiful effort that curled over the keeper and into the top left. She’ll be very proud of that.
Wales kick off the second half
47″ Belarus start the half well, having a good spell of possession and almost creating a chance down the right.
62″ Furness is called offside, she could have created a goal scoring opportunity there if she timed her run better.
51″ Free-kick whipped in by Wales that is caught on the volley by Roberts, but is blocked and cleared away.
54″ Fishlock presses the keeper into taking a dodgy touch and putting it out for a throw, very good pressure.
70″ Wade called offside on the right flank, Ireland really need to time their runs better if they want to keep playing balls in behind.
59″ The Belarus captain strikes an almost in perfect free-kick that rattles the crossbar and so very nearly goes in. The follow up is scuffed when it should have been put in.
72″ Double sub for the Faroes.
76″ Kelly has an effort saved from the edge of the box after absolutely skimming a Faroe Islands defender, great play.
77″ GOAL! Caitlin McGuinness. The ball falls to her generously in the box and she batters it home. Both sisters on the scoresheet on a historic night for Ireland.
66″ Harding gets played through and chases but the keeper wins the race, Wales just keeping possession in this game.
70″ Rowe wants another goal as she smashes it from long distance, but she completely drags it, should be doing better if you’re shooting from that distance.
72″ Penalty! Number three brings down Tasha Harding and receives a yellow card.
73″ GOAL! Fishlock slots the penalty home into the bottom corner. Calm and collected.
87″ GOAL! Rachel Furness grabs her second of the night after latching on to a deep cross at the back post. 5-1 here now but it has been game over for a while.
77″ Morgan looks bamboozled by the refs decision to give a foul against her, the player clearly slipped over there.
Four minutes added on here at Seaview.
81″ Ingle fouls the Belarus player which causes her to react angrily, Ingles laughs it off and gets on with the game.
Full time here at Seaview. History has been made in Northern Ireland. The score ends Northern Ireland 5-1 Faroe Islands.
85″ Ingle plays a perfect ball through to Fishlock, but the keeper comes sprinting out and swarms her, leading Fishlock to mess up her shot.
88″ Triple substitution for Wales.
89″ Triple sub for Belarus.
Four minutes added on in this second half.
94″ Wales are closing out this game with a piece of comfortable possession, they will be disappointed they did not make the play-offs, but they have played extremely well tonight.
Full time. Game ends Wales 3-0 Belarus. You can see the disappointment on the Welsh ladies faces, they are devastated.