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Northern Ireland girls are outclassed as English hit the spot

By Graham Luney

Northern Ireland's Under-19 girls lost 8-1 to Norway at Solitude in their Group 4 elite round mini-tournament clash yesterday afternoon.

Aimee Mackin was on target for the hosts in the 15th minute but their classy opponents had too much firepower.

England, who defeated Switzerland 3-1 at Seaview yesterday afternoon, and Norway were then back at the home of Crusaders in bizarre circumstances last night.

Their match had to be restarted in the 96th minute with a retaken penalty after a refereeing error.

Mo Marley's England side, trailing 2-1, replayed the final 18 seconds of the Euro qualifier after German referee Marija Kurtes had disallowed Leah Williamson's spot-kick for encroachment during Saturday's match.

But she wrongly gave Norway a free-kick instead of ordering a penalty retake.

So the teams were back at Seaview at 9.45pm last night with a different referee and Williamson kept her cool to slot home the eagerly anticipated spot-kick.

With the day's earlier results, the 2-2 draw sends England to the European Under-19 Championship finals.

Michael O'Neill's Northern Ireland are up one place to 42nd in Fifa's latest world rankings.

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