Women's World Cup Qualifying
N Ireland WomNorthern Ireland4Latvia WomenLatvia Women0

World Cup qualifying: Northern Ireland beat Latvia on Windsor Park return

By Andy GrayBBC Sport NI at Windsor Park
Captain McGuinness scores as Northern Ireland put four past Latvia

Northern Ireland beat Latvia 4-0 in World Cup qualifying in their first match at the National Stadium at Windsor Park in nine years.

Sarah McFadden headed against the woodwork but Latvia held the hosts at the break.

However Louise McDaniel scored early in the second half and Kirsty McGuinness, captain on her 50th cap, added a second on 65 minutes.

Marissa Callaghan hit the third before a late Rachel Furness penalty.

Northern Ireland's senior women were playing at the National Stadium for only the third time, and the first since a 2-0 defeat by Belgium in September 2012.

Latvia, who lost 8-1 to Austria in their opening game, frustrated the hosts but the second-half goals by McDaniel, who was the first women to score in a major finals for NI when she netted in the Under-19 Euros in 2017, McGuinness, Callaghan and Furness maintained NI's perfect start to qualifying.

NI sloppy in first half

In front of a crowd of 4,079, it was a fast and frantic start with both sides looking to take advantage of Windsor Park's expansive pitch.

Furness' flick found McGuinness, whose cross was inches away from connecting with Kerry Beattie and, just like against Luxembourg on Friday, Northern Ireland's prowess from corners came to the fore when McFadden headed over on six minutes, and Lauren Wade's dipping long-range effort soon followed.

Latvia posed far more of a threat than Luxembourg on Friday, and while Karline Miksone's ambitious effort was well over, the hosts were caught at the back and Olga Sevcova forced Jackie Burns into a smart save with her feet in the first clear-cut chance of the match.

Just over 4,000 fans watched Northern Ireland's return to Windsor Park
Just over 4,000 fans watched Northern Ireland's return to Windsor Park

The hosts began to dominate the ball from the half-hour mark but lacked the clinical touch that has served them so well in recent games, with several loose touches and passes letting them down at the final moment.

Anastasjia Rocane almost turned Wade's cross into her own net and McDaniel lobbed over, before McFadden's looping header dropped on to the crossbar

Then, in injury time, Wade was played through by Furness and with the goal gaping, her effort on her weaker right foot trickled wide.

McDaniel goal lifts NI

Northern Ireland came flying out of the traps from the restart, and Windsor Park erupted on 48 minutes when McDaniel latched on to a loose ball in the area to fire a brilliant effort into the top corner and net her first international goal.

McGuinness then went close, followed by two chances for Wade, one header which dropped on to the roof of the net before Enika-Anna Vaivode turned the winger's effort away.

However NI got the second goal they were craving on 65 minutes when McGuinness latched on to a through ball from Callaghan to tuck home her 10th Northern Ireland goal from a tight angle.

The pressure from the green shirts kept coming, with McDaniel tapping home from close range but Callaghan was flagged offside in the build-up, and Furness powered a header over from substitute Rebecca McKenna's delivery.

'I couldn't have written it any better' - McGuinness savours goal on 50th appearance

Callaghan made it three on when she bundled home a brilliant Demi Vance cross from close range on 78 minutes, and the midfielder was involved again moments later when her shot hit the arm of Miksone and referee Esther Staubli pointed to the spot.

Furness, who hit the post with a penalty against Luxembourg on Friday, calmly converted as the hosts finally made their domination count.

Callaghan forced another good save from Vaivode in injury time, but Northern Ireland made it two wins from two to get off to the perfect start in their bid to reach a maiden World Cup finals.

After a frustrating start it was a professional and slick second-half performance from Kenny Shiels' side, with McFadden and McDaniel putting in stand-out performances as NI gear up for two vital October qualifiers with England and Austria.

Line-ups

N Ireland Wom

Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 1Burns
  • 4McFadden
  • 3Vance
  • 17RaffertySubstituted forBurrowsat 83'minutes
  • 7McCarron
  • 9WadeSubstituted forHamiltonat 71'minutes
  • 18McDaniel
  • 8Callaghan
  • 11McGuinnessSubstituted forMaxwellat 84'minutes
  • 21BeattieSubstituted forMcKennaat 61'minutes
  • 10FurnessBooked at 19minsSubstituted forWatlingat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2McKenna
  • 5Nelson
  • 6Holloway
  • 12Flaherty
  • 13Burrows
  • 14McGuinness
  • 15Hamilton
  • 16Caldwell
  • 19Wilson
  • 20Maxwell
  • 22Watling
  • 23Harvey-Clifford

Latvia Women

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 23Vaivode
  • 13VoitaneSubstituted forBrahmaneat 90'minutes
  • 22Gergeleziu
  • 10Rocane
  • 2TumaneSubstituted forGirzdaat 90'minutes
  • 19MiksoneBooked at 81mins
  • 6LubinaBooked at 90minsSubstituted forGarancaat 90+1'minutes
  • 8Zaicikova
  • 11FedotovaSubstituted forBalicevaat 52'minutes
  • 14SevcovaBooked at 88mins
  • 9SenbergaSubstituted forValakaat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Sklemenova
  • 3Lodzina
  • 4Vitmore
  • 5Girzda
  • 7Sondore
  • 12Sinutkina
  • 15Baliceva
  • 16Freidenfelde
  • 17Garanca
  • 18Valaka
  • 20Brahmane
  • 21Buklovska
Referee:
Esther Staubli

Match Stats

Home TeamN Ireland WomAway TeamLatvia Women
Possession
Home69%
Away31%
Shots
Home38
Away4
Shots on Target
Home8
Away2
Corners
Home15
Away0
Fouls
Home8
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Northern Ireland Women 4, Latvia Women 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Northern Ireland Women 4, Latvia Women 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ciara Watling (Northern Ireland Women) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Demi Vance with a cross following a corner.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Northern Ireland Women. Conceded by Sofija Gergeleziu.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Marissa Callaghan (Northern Ireland Women) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Caragh Hamilton.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Marissa Callaghan (Northern Ireland Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Rebecca McKenna.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Latvia Women. Sofija Garanca replaces Arta Luize Lubina.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Latvia Women. Kristine Girzda replaces Ligita Tumane.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Latvia Women. Nikola Brahmane replaces Sandra Voitane because of an injury.

  10. Booking

    Arta Luize Lubina (Latvia Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Booking

    Olga Sevcova (Latvia Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Caragh Hamilton (Northern Ireland Women) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Olga Sevcova (Latvia Women).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Northern Ireland Women. Ciara Watling replaces Rachel Furness.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Northern Ireland Women. Danielle Maxwell replaces Kirsty McGuinness.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Northern Ireland Women. Kelsie Burrows replaces Laura Rafferty.

  17. Post update

    Goal! Northern Ireland Women 4, Latvia Women 0. Rachel Furness (Northern Ireland Women) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

  18. Booking

    Karlina Miksone (Latvia Women) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

  19. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Karlina Miksone (Latvia Women) with a hand ball in the penalty area.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Marissa Callaghan (Northern Ireland Women) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kirsty McGuinness.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Tuesday 21st September 2021

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sweden22005056
2Finland Women11002113
3R. of Ireland Wom00000000
4Slovakia Women200213-20
5Georgia Women100104-40

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain2200170176
2Scotland22009186
3Ukraine Women00000000
4Hungary Women200209-90
5Faroe Islands Women2002117-160

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Czech Rep Wom21109184
2Netherlands21103124
3Belarus Women11004133
4Iceland100102-20
5Cyprus Women2002112-110

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England2200180186
2Austria2200141136
3N Ireland Wom22008086
4Latvia Women2002112-110
5Luxembourg Women2002014-140
6North Macedonia Women2002014-140

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Denmark2200150156
2Russia22007076
3Montenegro Women210137-43
4Bos-Herze Wom201145-11
5Malta Women201129-71
6Azerbaijan Women2002010-100

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norway2200130136
2Belgium21108174
3Poland Women21102114
4Kosovo Women201114-31
5Albania Women201118-71
6Armenia Women2002011-110

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Switzerland220010196
2Italy22008086
3Romania Women22005056
4Lithuania Women200217-60
5Croatia Women200207-70
6Moldova Women200209-90

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany2200121116
2Portugal21105144
3Turkey Women10101101
4Serbia Women100115-40
5Israel Women100104-40
6Bulgaria Women100107-70

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France2200132116
2Wales22007076
3Slovenia Women21016333
4Greece Women2101312-93
5Estonia Women200205-50
6Kazakhstan Women200229-70
View full Women's World Cup Qualifying tables

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