Wylie's Northern Ireland girls on mission to record first qualifying win
Northern Ireland's women's side will go hunting for the first victory and first goal in their World Cup qualifying campaign against the Faroe Islands tonight (7.30pm).
Alfie Wylie's girls have netted only one point from their four matches but spirits remain high in the camp despite a a 4-0 defeat against Sweden at Shamrock Park on Saturday evening.
Northern Ireland kicked off their campaign with a 2-0 away defeat to Scotland and a 0-0 draw against Bosnia, followed by a 3-0 home loss against Poland.
The Swedes, who boast a 100% record after four games, are one of the heavyweights in Group Four but the hosts showed tremendous fighting spirit in wet conditions.
Two goals in the last six minutes gave the visitors a handsome win.
The girls go into the battle against 70th-ranked Faroe Islands boosted by the news that Sports Minster Caral Ni Chuilin has told the Irish FA it could face funding cuts if it fails to fully develop the women's game in Northern Ireland. The minister told the Belfast Telegraph: "If I get a sense that women are being left behind, I will use the power of my funding to make a difference.
"I've asked the IFA to ensure women are not considered as an afterthought."
The minster said there was "still much to be done in various areas and women's soccer is one of them."
Northern Ireland: Emma Higgins (Unattached), Krystal Parker (Aston Villa); Defenders: Ashley Hutton (Linfield Ladies), Julie Nelson (Glasgow City Ladies), Amy McGivern (Crusaders Strikers), Alex Hurst (Bristol City Ladies), Lisa Armour (Crusaders Strikers), Lindsay Corry (Linfield Ladies), Hannah Doherty (Linfield Ladies); Midfielders: Nadene Caldwell (Glentoran Belfast United), Danielle McDowell (Crusaders Strikers), Simone Magill (Everton Ladies), Marissa Callaghan (Cliftonville Ladies), Sarah Venney (Linfield Ladies), Laura Rafferty (Chelsea Ladies), Lynda Shepherd (Manchester City); Forwards: Aimee Mackin (Newry City Ladies), Rachel Furness (Sunderland), Lauren Wade (Glentoran Belfast United), Jessica Doran (Crusaders Strikers).