Belfast Telegraph

Bassett is spot on to give girls in green edge over Turkey

Northern Ireland 1-0 Turkey

By Emma Patterson

Northern Ireland Women's under-19 team chalked up a 1-0 win against Turkey in the first of two friendlies being held this week in preparation for August's European Championship.

It was a cagey start at Mourneview Park as both sides got the measure of one another, and Turkey looked like they might edge into the lead when winger Ilayda Civelek's run culminated in a powerful strike which keeper Beth Hopwood did well to clear.

But the breakthrough came for Northern Ireland after 25 minutes when referee Andrew MacDonald awarded a penalty after Rebecca Bassett was brought down inside the area, and the Mid-Ulster Ladies forward rifled the ball home from the spot.

Northern Ireland were then unlucky not to double their lead just before the break when Chloe Orr's superbly taken free kick crashed on to the crossbar.

Fatigue began to show in the second half as both sides struggled to create chances, but Lauren Robson threatened a goal when her tremendous free kick looked to be sweeping into the top corner before Gamze Nur Yaman palmed it away.

The girls in green held on to their one-goal advantage until the final whistle, and manager Alfie Wylie was delighted with his team's work rate.

"It's great for the girls and it shows how much they're learning. They've been working really hard so I'm very pleased.

"We had a couple of new faces involved for the first time and they stepped forward and did the job."

The girls face Turkey again in the second leg tomorrow at Ballymena Showgrounds.

NI: Hopwood, Moore, Robson, Burns, White, McMaster (Bassett, 25 mins), McPartlan, Magee (McDaniel, 65 mins), Orr, Reilly (Coppell, 65 mins). Unused subs: Hamilton, Perry, Wharton, O'Neill.

Turkey: Nur Yaman, Alpavut, Yildirim, Saravas, Arhan, Ertan, Kivanc (Bozyel, 61 mins), Su Koyun (Uyaner, 61 mins), Civelek, Kilinc, Gamze Kocer. Unused subs: Cam, Polat, Yurdkal, Civan, Meryem Acikel.

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