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'We'll give everything to create history': Rachel Furness has focus fixed on helping Northern Ireland to Women's Euro 2022 play-off



Northern Ireland celebrate their victory over Belarus.

Northern Ireland celebrate their victory over Belarus.

William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland celebrate their victory over Belarus.

Rachel Furness already has her sights fixed on Tuesday night after bagging the 29th goal of her international career to help Northern Ireland to a 3-2 victory over Belarus.

The victory, their third in a row, means that victory over the Faroe Islands at Seaview will secure a spot in the Women's Euro 2022 play-offs.

Her second-half penalty put Northern Ireland 2-1 up after a strike from Kirsty McGuinness.

The winner then came from an own goal that went into the net off the head of the Belarus goalkeeper after McGuinness had seen her shot hit the post, teeing up Tuesday's all-important clash with the Faroes.

"We'll work on our gameplan and give everything," Furness said. "We feel everyone's support from back in their houses and hopefully we can have one final push to create history for our country.

“I’m just over the moon that we got the result tonight.

“We made hard work of it, I think we can be a lot better, but I am just over the moon that we got the three points and got it over the line.

“I was confident that if I hit the penalty well enough that the goalkeeper wasn’t going to save it. I’m confident in my own ability and I’m very thankful that it went in.”

Furness and Julie Nelson both went tumbling in the box for the penalty and the striker revealed she had a part to play in the spot kick being awarded.

“I was definitely fouled,” she said. “I did speak to the referee earlier on because the girl was tight on a few set pieces so the referee was aware of it.

“You can’t touch anyone in the box these days. Yes, I’ve called for it.

"I was focused. I had full belief that I would find the net and thankfully I did."

Furness hailed the contribution of McGuinness, who scored a stunning opener after just two minutes and then played a major part in the winning goal.

“Kirsty was fantastic. We know her ability, we know how clincal she can be and all 11 were fantastic tonight as well as the girls who came on and the girls who were in the stand – it’s a real squad effort.

“From the coaching staff to every single player whether they were in the stand or fighting on the pitch, we’re all in this together.”

Belfast Telegraph