Women's European Championship Qualifying - Group C
Belarus WomenBelarus Women0N Ireland WomNorthern Ireland1

European Championship qualifiers: Ten-woman Northern Ireland earn heroic 1-0 win in Belarus

Rachel Furness
Rachel Furness celebrates after scoring the only goal of the game three minutes before half-time

Northern Ireland produced a heroic performance to win 1-0 in their European Championship qualifier in Belarus despite playing more than an hour of the game with 10 players.

Goalkeeper Jacqueline Burns was sent-off in the 27th minute for bringing down Anastaysia Shcherbachenia.

Three minutes before half-time Rachel Furness headed in the winner at the back post from Demi Vance's corner.

NI move up to third in Group C and retain hope of making the play-offs.

The victory sees them move two points clear of the Belarusians, who have a game in hand over Kenny Shiels' side.

But Northern Ireland will be guaranteed a play-offs spot if they beat Belarus and the Faroe Islands in their remaining two home qualifiers.

Former world champions Norway have qualified with six wins from six but second-placed Wales are three points ahead of Northern Ireland, having played one game more.

The nine group winners, plus the three runners-up with the best records will automatically qualify for the tournament in England in 2022, while the other six runners-up will play off for the remaining berths in the 16-team finals.

Northern Ireland now boast eight points from their six qualifying games courtesy of two wins, two draws and two defeats by the Norwegians.

Indication of further progress

Their success at the Dinamo Stadium in Minsk is an indicator of further significant progress after they secured a first competitive win for three years by beating the Faroe Islands 6-0 on the road last month.

Belarus will aim to bounce back from their third defeat of the series when they travel to Northern Ireland for the return fixture on 27 November.

That will be NI's penultimate game of their campaign, with the Faroe Islands also still to visit Belfast for the final group qualifier on 1 December.

Rachel Furness says N Ireland showed great belief in their win over Belarus

Furness fires winner after red card setback

Northern Ireland began Tuesday's game brightly when Lauren Wade's cross was met by the head of Simone Magill but the Everton striker's header went just wide.

Soon after Furness's left-foot free-kick was on target but was comfortably saved by the home goalkeeper.

NI's ambitions of clinching a famous away win appeared to suffer a major setback when Burns brought down the Belarus captain outside the area in a one-on-one situation and the referee produced a red card.

Substitute keeper Becky Flaherty, recalled to the squad after recovering from a long-term hip injury which required surgery, was subsequently called into action, replacing forward Kirsty McGuinness.

Furness's headed goal nudged NI in front and the Liverpool midfielder almost added a second after the break when her left-foot drive came back off the bar.

The visitors showed grit, resilience and no little skill to hold out for a crucial and well-earned win.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Tuesday 27th October 2020

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Netherlands66002832518
2Russia430110289
3Slovenia Women6303171079
4Kosovo Women5203414-106
5Estonia Women4013113-121
6Turkey Women5014119-181

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Italy66001921718
2Denmark55002902915
3Bos-Herze Wom7502168815
4Israel Women6114811-34
5Malta Women7115522-174
6Georgia Women7007236-340

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norway44003213112
2Wales42209278
3Belarus Women310278-13
4N Ireland Wom4022214-122
5Faroe Islands Women3003025-250

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland Women3210100107
2Spain32109187
3Czech Rep Wom320112576
4Moldova Women3102313-103
5Azerbaijan Women4004116-150

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Finland Women43101621410
2Scotland2200130136
3Portugal21102114
4Albania Women5104317-143
5Cyprus Women3003014-140

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sweden3300161159
2Iceland3300111109
3Hungary Women411259-44
4Slovakia Women411229-74
5Latvia Women4004216-140

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Austria44001601612
2Serbia Women530217899
3France22009096
4North Macedonia Women5104521-163
5Kazakhstan Women4004119-180

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium44001721512
2Switzerland44001501512
3Romania Women310237-43
4Croatia Women4103413-93
5Lithuania Women5005118-170

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1R. of Ireland Wom5410103713
2Germany44003103112
3Greece Women411257-24
4Ukraine Women3003219-170
5Montenegro Women4004019-190
View full Women's European Championship Qualifying tables

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