Women's World Cup Qualifying
Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland9North MacedoniaNorth Macedonia0

2023 Women's World Cup qualifiers: Rachel Furness breaks record as NI end 2021 on high

By Andy GrayBBC Sport NI at Seaview
Northern Ireland secure second huge win over North Macedonia

Northern Ireland ended a memorable year on a high with a 9-0 victory over North Macedonia in World Cup qualifying.

Rachel Furness - Northern Ireland's leading women's scorer of all time - surpassed David Healy's men's record of 36 goals, while Kirsty McGuinness scored a hat-trick.

Rebecca Holloway scored twice after netting in the record 11-0 win over North Macedonia on Thursday.

Simone Magill and Furness added further goals at a sold-out Seaview before Kerry Beattie completed the rout.

Kenny Shiels' side move into second position in Group D, three points ahead of Austria who play Luxembourg on Tuesday.

The comfortable win was Northern Ireland's final game of 2021 before a big year which will see fixtures in April against Austria and England and then Euro 2022 next summer.

Qualification for a first-ever women's major tournament and their record 11-0 victory over North Macedonia on Thursday means NI have had a memorable year.

They also played at Windsor Park for the first time since its redevelopment, took on England at Wembley in October and sold out their home ground at Seaview against Austria.

Furness breaks record in first half

Record breaker Rachel Furness and hat-trick hero Kirsty McGuinness

The first half belonged to Furness, who, with Northern Ireland already two goals to the good, netted her 37th Northern Ireland goal to surpass Healy as the country's record goalscorer in men's or women's internationals.

The ball broke to the Liverpool midfielder on the edge of the area and she tucked a left-foot effort into the net and sparked the loudest cheer of the night.

Prior to Furness' goal, just like in Skopje, Northern Ireland were well on top from the first whistle and Marissa Callaghan and McGuinness had efforts well blocked by the visiting defence.

Magill thought she had made the breakthrough on 10 minutes when she converted Demi Vance's cross but the flag, somewhat belatedly, went up for offside.

Northern Ireland's disappointment, however, lasted only seconds as McGuinness raced onto a through ball before arrowing an effort off the post and into the net.

Kirsty McGuinness watches her clip land in the far corner
Kirsty McGuinness watches her chip land in the far corner

Lauren Wade and Callaghan let fly as the hosts went in search of a second, before Furness saw a powerful header cleared off the line and McGuinness saw another effort saved by Magdalena Lekovska.

After netting her maiden international goal on Thursday, Holloway grabbed a spectacular second when her 30-yard strike flew into the top scorner on the half-hour mark despite the best efforts of the visiting goalkeeper.

Furness netted Northern Ireland's third in her history-making moment before McGuinness made it four when her delightful chip landed into the far corner, and it could have been better if Wade didn't have another effort ruled out for offside at the end of the half.

McGuinness savours hat-trick

The pressure kept coming after the break and Wade blazed over the top in the first attack of the second half before McGuinness and Magill were inches away from adding more gloss to the scoreline.

Aleksandra Markova had a rare effort for North Macedonia, which landed well wide, before the outstanding Magill headed onto the crossbar from Callaghan's cutback.

Furness curled over the top as the green shirts piled forward, and the fifth goal came when McGuiness touched home from close range on 62 minutes from Magill's fourth assist of the game.

A sold-out Seaview enjoyed nine goals in a memorable win
A sold-out Seaview enjoyed nine goals in a memorable win

Holloway slammed home NI's sixth two minutes later and Magill was inches away from a deserved goal when her low effort flew the wrong side of the post.

Magill eventually made it seven when she skipped into the area and slotted past Lekovska on 74 minutes, and Furness was unlucky not to grab her second of the night when her volley was driven off the line by Ane Boseka, but the relentless midfielder headed home from Wade's deep cross with five minutes to play.

There was a great moment for Beattie who scored with the last kick of the game from close range, her first international goal, to round out the win and a memorable night in front of a lively and packed Seaview crowd.

Line-ups

Northern Ireland

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Burns
  • 2McKennaSubstituted forAndrewsat 45'minutes
  • 5Nelson
  • 4McFaddenSubstituted forWatlingat 45'minutes
  • 3Vance
  • 14Wade
  • 10Furness
  • 8CallaghanSubstituted forMcDanielat 65'minutes
  • 6HollowaySubstituted forMcGuinnessat 83'minutes
  • 9Magill
  • 11McGuinnessSubstituted forBeattieat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7McCarron
  • 12Flaherty
  • 13Burrows
  • 15Hamilton
  • 16Caldwell
  • 17McLaren
  • 18McDaniel
  • 19McGuinness
  • 20Andrews
  • 21Beattie
  • 22Watling
  • 23Harvey-Clifford

North Macedonia

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Lekovska
  • 17Jankovska
  • 4Mileska
  • 23Milchevska
  • 3Boseska
  • 16Petrovska
  • 6ShemsovikjSubstituted forMarkovskaat 45'minutes
  • 7Maksuti
  • 9MustafaSubstituted forGjorgjevskaat 86'minutes
  • 11SaliihiSubstituted forHuseinat 78'minutes
  • 19PetrushevskaSubstituted forVelkovaat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Gjorgjevska
  • 5Kolarovska
  • 8Markovska
  • 10Husein
  • 12Kolevska
  • 13Chubrinovska
  • 14Velkova
  • 15Nedeva
  • 18Joshevska
  • 20Choneva
  • 21Paneska
  • 22Pavlovska
Referee:
Meitar Shemesh
Attendance:
2,600

Match Stats

Home TeamNorthern IrelandAway TeamNorth Macedonia
Possession
Home78%
Away22%
Shots
Home38
Away5
Shots on Target
Home16
Away0
Corners
Home15
Away1
Fouls
Home3
Away4

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Northern Ireland Women 9, North Macedonia Women 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Northern Ireland Women 9, North Macedonia Women 0.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Northern Ireland Women 9, North Macedonia Women 0. Kerry Beattie (Northern Ireland Women) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Simone Magill (Northern Ireland Women) header from very close range is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Rachel Furness with a cross.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lauren Wade (Northern Ireland Women) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Louise McDaniel with a headed pass.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Simone Magill (Northern Ireland Women) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Demi Vance with a cross.

  7. Post update

    Lauren Wade (Northern Ireland Women) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Teodora Gjorgjevska (North Macedonia Women).

  9. Goal!

    Goal! Northern Ireland Women 8, North Macedonia Women 0. Rachel Furness (Northern Ireland Women) header from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lauren Wade with a cross.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, North Macedonia Women. Teodora Gjorgjevska replaces Hava Mustafa.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Simone Magill (Northern Ireland Women) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Kerry Beattie.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Northern Ireland Women. Caitlin McGuinness replaces Rebecca Holloway.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Rachel Furness (Northern Ireland Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Rachel Furness (Northern Ireland Women) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Demi Vance with a cross.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Northern Ireland Women. Conceded by Sara Husein.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, North Macedonia Women. Sara Husein replaces Afrodita Saliihi.

  17. Post update

    Offside, North Macedonia Women. Afrodita Saliihi tries a through ball, but Hava Mustafa is caught offside.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ilza Maksuti (North Macedonia Women) right footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the right. Assisted by Hava Mustafa.

  19. Goal!

    Goal! Northern Ireland Women 7, North Macedonia Women 0. Simone Magill (Northern Ireland Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Demi Vance.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kerry Beattie (Northern Ireland Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sweden440081712
2Finland42027526
3Slovakia41124404
4R. of Ireland31113304
5Georgia300309-90

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain44003503512
2Scotland4310123910
3Ukraine311157-24
4Hungary4103812-43
5Faroe Islands5005240-380

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Netherlands53201531211
2Iceland32019276
3Czech Republic412111745
4Belarus31115414
5Cyprus5014226-241

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England55003303315
2Northern Ireland64113062413
3Austria53112141710
4Luxembourg4103321-183
5North Macedonia6105638-323
6Latvia4004226-240

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Denmark55003113015
2Russia55001801815
3Montenegro5302812-49
4Malta5113415-114
5Bos-Herze5014420-161
6Azerbaijan5005118-170

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norway54102402413
2Poland532062411
3Belgium53113452910
4Kosovo5113313-104
5Albania5113617-114
6Armenia5005036-360

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Switzerland55001921715
2Italy54011721512
3Romania43018269
4Lithuania4013112-111
5Croatia5014015-151
6Moldova3003012-120

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany55002812715
2Portugal54101621413
3Serbia42027706
4Turkey4112211-94
5Bulgaria4004016-160
6Israel4004016-160

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France55003523315
2Wales54101711613
3Slovenia53111751210
4Greece5203521-166
5Kazakhstan5005221-190
6Estonia5005026-260
View full Women's World Cup Qualifying tables

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