Belfast Telegraph

NI girls can emulate men against Portugal: Hutton

Northern Ireland's leading ladies can take the spotlight off Portugal, insists Ashley Hutton.

The defender says she wasn't impressed by Francisco Neto's side in the first of two friendlies. Goalkeeper Jackie Burns dropped Dolores Silva's shot into her own net in Tuesday's 1-0 loss.

Mirroring the tenacity and self-belief Northern Ireland's men showed in Porto during the 2014 World Cup campaign, when Niall McGinn famously scored in a draw to upset Cristiano Ronaldo's 100th cap celebrations, Hutton and her team-mates are determined to shine today.

"We know what they're all about and, to be honest, it's not much," the Linfield centre-back said. "They are 20 ranking places above us and, in my opinion, they didn't show much more quality than we are capable of.

"The game was excellent; it was a fantastic performance from the girls. For us, it shows the amount of work and effort we have put in."

The prospect of round two against a side which has qualified for Women's Euro 2017 is not daunting, with Hutton adding: "Alfie (Wylie) wants us to push higher up but we want to frustrate them. We know exactly what they don't like."

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