Belfast Telegraph

Megan Campbell inspires Republic to victory over Northern Ireland women in World Cup qualifier

Northern Ireland 0-2 Republic of Ireland

By Gareth Hanna

It was defeat for Northern Ireland women in Tuesday evening's eagerly awaited derby at Mourneview Park.

A Megan Campbell inspired Republic of Ireland earned a 2-0 win in the first match between the sides since 2000. Rachel Furness' own goal just before half-time was caused by one of Campbell's trademark long throws and it was Campbell herself that doubled the lead midway through the second half.

The result means Northern Ireland are still without a point in Group 3 after they lost their opening qualifier 4-1 away to top seeds Norway on Friday.

Reading star Furness had proved an early threat for the hosts but her effort in the opening minutes was blocked.

NI did go one closer when Sion Swifts' Kendra McMullan forced RoI keeper Marie Hourihan to tip her header over the crossbar. It was the closest NI would come to a goal as the forward put in an impressive performance, no doubt buoyed by her recent double in Swifts' victorious Irish Cup final.

The Republic made Northern Ireland pay for that missed opportunity just a couple of minutes later in first half injury time. One of Megan Campbell's dangerous long throw ins did the damage, forcing the unfortunate Furness to head into her own net.

RoI's Stephanie Roche had a goal disallowed during the second period and the Puskas Award nominee also set up Louise Quinn for a shot that was superbly ripped round the post by in-form 16 year-old Linfield keeper Lauren Perry.

It was another of Megan Campbell's long throws that began the move for the second goal. It could only be cleared back out to the thrower herself and her long range effort found its way past Perry into the top corner.

Next up for Northern Ireland is a trip to Slovakia on November 27.

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