Northern Ireland’s Women’s Under-17 team deservedly secured a point in their second match at the Mediterranean Pearls tournament in Turkey.
Alfie Wylie’s WU17s are playing up an age level at the WU19 Pearls tournament at the Gold City Sports Complex in Alanya on Turkey’s southern coast.
After narrowly losing 2-1 to Belarus WU19s in their opening match, the WU17s produced another fine performance against Slovakia’s WU19s and secured a 2-2 draw.
The Northern Ireland U17 girls stood up to the challenge of the much taller Slovakian side throughout the match.
Defences were on top in the first half, however Slovakia exploited their physical advantage when scoring headers from corners in the 28th and 47th minutes.
Both teams produced good approach play during the first half, however both defences were largely on top and smothered out threats on goal.
Northern Ireland pulled one back just after the restart. Erin Montgomery’s effort was fumbled by the Slovak keeper who then pulled down Sienna Leckey as she tried to get to the loose ball. The resulting spot kick was clinically put away by Caoimhe Mulholland.
Chances were few and far between after that, however Northern Ireland continued to work hard and they grabbed an equaliser after 65 minutes. Sienna Leckey whipped in a vicious inswinging corner which the Slovak keeper could only parry into her own net.
The remaining 25 minutes was a ding-dong affair as both teams pursued a winner.
The last play of the match was a corner for the Northern Ireland girls, who were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty as there appeared to be at least one handball by the Slovaks in the ensuing melee.
Northern Ireland WU17s v Slovakia WU19s: Rachel Norney, Grace Glancy, Ella Haughey, Aimee Neal, Caoimhe Mulholland, Helen Parker, Ellie Mae Dickson, Cara Tumelty, Sienna Leckey, Eve Kelly, Erin Montgomery. Substitutes: Kaicee Griffin (GK), Leah Wilgaus, Freja Scott, Grace McKimm Maura Paterson, Kelley Chambers, Mia Rowan.