Northern Ireland secured a historic Women’s European Championship play-off spot ahead of Wales with a 5-1 victory over the Faroe Islands.
Jensa Kannuberg Torolvsdottir gave the visitors a shock lead in the fourth minute, but Rachel Furness headed an equaliser two minutes later and Kirsty McGuinness and Chloe McCarron added fine strikes just before the half-hour and
hour marks respectively.
Having come off the bench to join her sister Kirsty on the field, Caitlin McGuinness then made it 4-1 in the 77th minute, and a Jacoba Langgaard own goal completed the rout with two minutes of normal time remaining.
Northern Ireland had never taken part in a major championship or reached a play-off for one but are guaranteed to retain second spot in Group C and will take part in a showdown next year ahead of the finals in England in 2022.
Agony for Wales
Wales beat Belarus 3-0 but missed out on Euro 2022 after the Faroe Islands failed to deliver an upset in Northern
First-half goals from Natasha Harding and Rachel Rowe, and a second-half Jess Fishlock penalty saw Wales end their Group C campaign in style at Rodney Parade.
But Wales knew their finals dream rested on the Faroe Islands producing a football miracle in Belfast, with Northern Ireland starting the night in second spot thanks to a superior head-to-head record over the Dragons.
The Faroe Islands had failed to score in six group games while conceding 37 goals and, yet remarkably with the game in Belfast kicking off 10 minutes earlier, led Northern Ireland as the Wales players took to the pitch in Newport.
That was as good as it got for Wales, however, as Northern Ireland romped home to finish second to runaway group winners Norway.
Last-gasp heartbreak for Scotland
Scotland’s bid to qualify came to a dramatic end as a stoppage-time goal condemned them to a 1-0 loss to Finland at Easter Road.
The visitors launched a counter-attack in the dying seconds that saw substitute Amanda Rantanen shoot, Lee Alexander make a save and the ball rebound off the Finland player and go in.
Scotland were left to rue chances not taken as they suffered a third successive defeat in Group E.
Third in the pool, their hopes of making the finals in England have dissolved with two games still left to play.
Republic hopes over after loss
The Republic of Ireland’s hopes are also over after they were beaten 3-1 at home by Germany in their final Group I match.
Vera Pauw’s Ireland slipped from second to a third-placed finish following the defeat at Tallaght Stadium, being replaced by Ukraine, who won 2-1 at home against Montenegro.
Germany, already confirmed as group winners, took the lead in the 21st minute via a Lina Magull penalty after Katie McCabe fouled Svenja Huth, and Tabea Wassmuth doubled the advantage eight minutes later.
The hosts pulled a goal back just before half-time when Marina Hegering brought down Denise O’Sullivan and skipper McCabe converted the resulting spot-kick, but they could not add to that and Wassmuth notched her second with five minutes of normal time to go.
Source : Sky Sports