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Northern Ireland defeat repeated against Norway

Norway 6 - 0 Northern Ireland

NI women’s boss Kenny Shiels
NI women’s boss Kenny Shiels

By Stuart McKinley

Northern Ireland suffered a repeat of their 6-0 defeat at the hands of Norway in their opening Women’s Euro 2021 qualifier as they went down to another six-hit in their return game in Stavenger.

The Norwegians’ clinical finishing was once again the difference between the teams – something which Kenny Shiels team were unable to match after losing main striker Simone Magill, who was unable to make the trip.

Similar to the meeting in Belfast two months ago Norway seized the initiative early, taking the lead with just three minutes on the clock.

The Norwegians kept possession following a corner and after Ingrid Moe Wold fed the ball in to Karina Saevik she set up Lisa-Marie Utland to score from close range.

That early setback didn’t rock Northern Ireland, their attacking play was rewarded as they forced a succession of corners and on nine minutes the Norway defence was only able to clear the ball as far as Chloe McCarron who was unmarked 25 yards out and her shot flew just inches wide of the post.

It was Norway, however, who pounced from a corner of their own to double the lead on 12 minutes.

Wold was the provider again, pulling the ball back into the path of Utland and she struck from the edge of the six-yards box to net her second of the match.

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The crossbar saved Northern Ireland from going 3-0 down six minutes before half time after Guro Reiten’s shot had beaten Northern Ireland goalkeeper Becky Flaherty.

Reiten, however, only had to wait until six minutes after the break to get onto the scoresheet. Caroline Graham Hansen made a run and slipped the ball through for Reiten to finish from 12 yards out to net Norway’s third.

It was 4-0 just a minute later. Flaherty’s a save from Ingrid Syrstad Engen gave Norway a second corner in succession, but when the same player met another delivery from Reiten her header flew into the net.

It was all Norway at this stage and it was no surprise when they made it five on 69 minutes. Moe Wold slipped the ball to Graham Hansen and she tucked her shot into the bottom corner from 12 yards out.

Just when it looked like Northern Ireland would avoid a repeat of September’s scoreline Norway did get the half dozen three minutes into injury time.

Reiten again created the opening and Graham Hansen netted her second of the game, taking her tally for the campaign into double figures.

NORWAY: Fiskerstrand, Wold, Hansen, Mjelde, Boe Risa (Nygard, 77 mins), Graham Hansen, Utland (Thorsnes, 67 mins), Syrstad Engen, Reiten, Maanum, Saevik (Eikeland, 67 mins). Subs: Mikalsen, Kvamme, Hovland, Åsland, Hansen, Terland, Leine, Hasund.

NORTHERN IRELAND: Flaherty, Newborough, Nelson, Hutton, Vance, Wade, McFadden (Callaghan, 55 mins), Furness (Kelly, 84 mins), Bell, McCarron, McGuiness (McMaster, 77 mins). Subs: Perry, Finnegan, Burrows, McMaster, Kelly, Callaghan, McKenna, Howe.

Referee: Meliz Ozcigdem (Turkey).

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