The girls finished runners-up in Group 6 of the Qualifying Round in Macedonia this weekend with a 0-0 draw with Montenegro, 5-0 win over Macedonia and a 4-0 defeat to Sweden. The Elite Round draw will be made on Friday 13 November.
The last game of the tournament saw Northern Ireland take on group leaders Sweden in what was a crucial match for their qualifying hopes and despite the score line the team will have learnt a lot from the game after coming up against such a top footballing side in Sweden.
The game was played under searing heat again as temperatures reached 27 degrees and it was Sweden who had the first chance of the game but Blomqvist hit her shot just wide of the right post. It was Blomqvist again who had the best chance in the opening minutes but her shot was well saved by Jackie Burns.
However on the 18th minute Sweden opened the scoring when Persson was played through and she finished excellently putting the group leaders 1 up. Northern Irelands first real chance of the game fell to Carleton however her shot was save by Holmgren.
As the first half progressed both teams started to cancel each other out with the battles in midfield being fairly even and Northern Ireland were doing well to limit the Sweden teams play. Just before half time Sweden had two good chances first with Wieder shooting and then Blomqvist again however both chances were well saved by Jackie Burns. As the referee blew for half time the game was very much in the balance with Northern Ireland doing well to limit the Sweden team.
The second half started with a series of corners for Sweden however Northern Ireland dealt with the aerial threat very well and were able to get the ball cleared.
It was Sweden who scored the second goal of the game as Gothberg scores. Moments later it was 3-0 to Sweden when Anvegard scores direct from a free kick after McGivern fouls Persson. The last goal of the game again from Anvegard who finished well to put Sweden 4-0.
Northern Ireland had done well to limit Sweden however in the last ten minutes Sweden were eventually able to break through the teams defence, possibly due to the team not being used to playing in such searing conditions.
However despite the result, Northern Ireland has still qualified for the Elite Round of the UEFA Women’s Under19 Championship. The Elite Round draw will be made on Friday 13 November.