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Faroe Islands 1 (Torolvsdottir 4)>
Northern Ireland 5 (Furness 6, K.McGuinness 27, McCarron 56, C.McGuinness 77, Langgaard og 88)
Faroe Islands 1 (Torolvsdottir 4)
Northern Ireland sealed their place in the UEFA Euro 2022 play-offs after overcoming an early setback to run out convincing 5-1 winners over the Faroe Islands at Seaview.
Going into the game needing a victory to be absolutely sure of finishing in second place in the group, things could hardly have started worse for Kenny Shiels' side as the Faroes took the lead in the fourth minute. After receiving the ball in the area, Kara Djurhuus fired a shot across the face of goal and an unmarked Jensa Torolvsdottir was on hand to tuck the ball home from six yards.
Northern Ireland's response was a fast one, Chloe McCarron floating in a corner which was half cleared by Oluva Joensen but Rachel Furness showed great determination to race in and head the loose ball home under pressure.
Marissa Callaghan's angled shot was saved by Joensen as Northern Ireland began to dominate matters, whilst Lauren Wade fired wide from distance and Emily Wilson had a shot saved.
The pressure eventually told though and a fine move on 27 minutes saw Furness make a driving run and find Wade who in turn found Kirsty McGuinness on the edge of the area. The winger did not play the ball wide to the overlapping Nadine Caldwell, inside cutting inside and curling a glorious right foot shot into the far corner of the net, to put her side ahead for the first time.
Driven on by the outstanding Furness, the home side sought further goals before the break but were unable to add to their tally. Wade forced a save from Joensen following another good team move and Furness headed over from a McGuinness cross but the score remained 2-1 at half time.
McGuinness went close at the start of the second half, her flicked effort from a Wade cross bringing out a fine reaction save by Joensen before Callaghan sliced the rebound wide at the far post.
However the third goal they craved was not long in coming, and was well worth the wait. Wade played the ball to McCarron around 25 yards from goal and the midfielder planted an unstoppable strike into the top corner of the net, sparking wild Northern Ireland celebrations.
Just after the hour, Caitlin McGuinness was introduced as a substitute to join sister Kirsty on the pitch, to become the first pair of sisters to play for the Northern Ireland senior women's team in the same match.
Joensen made another good save when tipping a firm Samantha Kelly strike over the bar but the next goal was not too long in coming, a McCarron corner was headed on by Julie Nelson, the Faroes defence was unable to clear and Caitlin McGuinness swept the loose ball home from eight yards to join her older sister on the scoresheet.
Wade had been a constant threat throughout the match and she went close to the goal that her performance deserved but once again Joensen came to her side's rescue with a good save.
Another corner led to the final goal of the night; this time it was a Kirsty McGuinness delivery which went beyond the far post, Furness raced in to cut back across goal and the ball cannoned into the net off the unfortunate Jacoba Langgaard.
Northern Ireland can now look forward to their first ever play-off appearance after a historic night, and the dream of reaching a first ever major Finals is still alive.
Northern Ireland: Jackie Burns, Julie Nelson, Ashley Hutton (sub Samantha Kelly 64mins), Sarah McFadden, Nadene Caldwell (sub Joely Andrews 76mins), Emily Wilson (sub Caitlin McGuinness 64mins), Chloe McCarron, Marissa Callaghan (sub Toni Leigh Finnegan 84mins), Kirsty McGuinness, Rachel Furness, Lauren Wade (sub Danielle Maxwell 84mins). Subs not used: Rebecca Flaherty, Lauren Perry, Abbie Magee, Ciara Watling, Kerry Beattie, Rebecca McKenna.
Faroe Islands: Oluva Joensen, Elisabet Vang, Birita Ryan, Asla Johannesen, Kara Djurhuus (sub Sarita Maria Mittfoss 88mins), Julia Mortensen (sub Mona Rasmusdottir 72mins), Olga Kristina Hansen (sub Lea Lisberg 71mins), Sara Samson Lamhauge (sub Durita Hummeland 88mins), Jensa Torolvsdottir, Sanna Svarvadal (sub Marita Fridriksmork 90mins), Jacoba Langgaard. Subs not used: Eyogerd Mikkelsen, Olga Fridunn Olsen, Maria Lakjuni, Hanna Jacobsen.
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