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Kenny Shiels' joy as Northern Ireland return with six of the best

Faroe Islands 0 Northern Ireland 6


On target: Simone Magill celebrates scoring against the Faroes

On target: Simone Magill celebrates scoring against the Faroes

William Cherry/Presseye

Rachel Furness shows delight

Rachel Furness shows delight

William Cherry/Presseye

On target: Simone Magill celebrates scoring against the Faroes

The Faroe Islands felt the backlash of six months of frustration as Northern Ireland hit them for six in their Women's Euro 2022 qualifier.

With a place in the finals in England in their sights, Kenny Shiels' girls had been fired up for the challenge of their final four matches of the campaign before lockdown put them on pause in the spring.

Despite having to wait for so long, there was no sign of rustiness as they put the Faroes to the sword with a brace apiece from Simone Magill and Lauren Wade plus strikes by Rachel Furness and Kirsty McGuinness to complete a 6-0 victory.

It could have been more, but it was enough to give Northern Ireland their first competitive victory since a 3-1 win in Slovakia in November 2017 and Shiels' first in his eighth game as boss.

"We've been itching to get at it. We were supposed to be playing in April, then it was June, then it was August and it's now September. You can imagine the frustration in the build-up," said Shiels.

"It gave us longer to prepare and through all the pandemic and the restrictions we put a lot into it and you could see the outcome of that in how we played."

Northern Ireland imposed themselves early and went ahead on 19 minutes. Furness showed a great first touch to control a weak headed clearance and teed herself up to strike a half-volley into the net from 25 yards.

That gave Northern Ireland a massive shot of confidence and within four minutes they were 2-0 ahead. Wade's shot crashed off the post and Magill pounced to net the rebound from close range.

Wade only had to wait a further four minutes to get her name onto the scoresheet. Magill laid the ball off to the right and Wade cut inside before beating a Faroese defender and shooting low into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Northern Ireland began to play with a bit of swagger and Magill then provided the fourth for McGuinness. The Everton Women striker played a great ball in behind the full-back for McGuinness to mark her return to the team after a two-year absence with a goal as she beat the Faroese keeper at the near post.

There was no let-up from Northern Ireland after half-time and it took them just 11 minutes of the second half to add the fifth.

A great ball from Furness sent Wade clear of the Faroese defence and this time she picked out the far bottom corner with a cool finish.

Six of the best was completed in the final minute when Magill headed home her second of the night from a corner.

Faroe Islands: Mikkelsen, Jacobsen, Ryan, Langgaard, Johannesen, Djurhuus (Lisberg, 83 mins), Vang, Lakjuni (Lamhauge, 66 mins), Sevdal, Mortensen, Lindholm (Torolvsdottir, 66 mins). Subs not used: Joensen, Olsen, Fridriksmork, Rasmusdottir, Hvidbro, Mittfoss.

Northern Ireland: Burns, Hutton, Nelson, Vance, Caldwell (Andrews, 74 mins), McCarron, McFadden (Kelly, 65 minutes), Furness, Wade (Hamilton, 78 mins), Magill, McGuinness. Subs not used: Perry, Newborough, Magee, Finnegan, Beattie, McKenna.

Raferee: Graziella Pirriatore (Italy)

Player of the match: Simone Magill

Match rating: 7/10

Belfast Telegraph