Northern Ireland’s Women’s Under-17 team were defeated 4-0 by Belgium in a Euro qualifier in Hungary this afternoon. The first half was a pretty even affair, with Northern Ireland creating some good chances, however the Belgians were largely on top after the break.
UEFA Women’s European Under-17 Championship 2023-24
Qualifying First Round (League A)
Belgium WU17s 4 Northern Ireland WU17s 0
Belgium: Careel (29’, 82’), Vanluyten (58’ pen, 84’)
BSC Stadium, Budaors
7 November 2023
This was Northern Ireland’s second of three matches in League A Group 6 in the first round of qualifiers for the UEFA WU17 Euros 2024. The A6 mini tournament is being staged in the Budapest metropolitan area in Hungary.
WU17s boss Gail Redmond made three changes to the team that started the first game against England, which Northern Ireland lost 6-0.
In came Ellen Hampton, Eva Myles and Bernadette Ferreira, while Sophie Kelly-Bradley, Mia Moore and Clodagh Maguire dropped to the bench.
How it happened
Northern Ireland started brightly. Niamh Boothroyd had the first chance of the game, firing a shot over the bar, before Belgium’s Clementine Reynebeau blasted a shot over the top.
Eva Myles let fly from distance, however her shot went over the bar, and thenBernie Ferreira’s strike on the turn was held by Belgian keeper Aude Waldbillig.
Belgium, who lost their opening group game to hosts Hungary, took the lead on 29 minutes when Reynebeau hit the woodwork with a snapshot and Oona Careel smashed the rebound home.
The Belgians then put a couple of efforts wide before Careel’s looping shot hit the top of the bar.
As the interval approached Northern Ireland keeper Abbie Smith thwarted Belgium attacker Manon Heremans and then saved a Romy Wenning header.
Half-time: Belgium WU17s 1 Northern Ireland WU17s 0
Midfielder Lola Vanluyten replaced Megan Watson at the break and she made quite an impact for the Belgians.
Smith saved an effort from her on 50 minutes, but eight minutes later Vanluyten scored. She stroked home a spot kick after Ellen Hampton had fouled Heremans inside the area.
Waldbillig saved from Eva Myles and Rhianna Breen, and Breen missed the target, as Northern Ireland tried to claw their way back into the game.
The third goal for the Belgians was scored in the 82nd minute. Substitute Fleur Heyman sped down the left flank, cut inside and passed the ball to Careel who swept it home.
Two minutes later the fourth goal arrived. Defender Lise Bal found space down the left and raced to the bye-line before slipping the ball to Vanluyten and she clipped the ball into the net from six yards.
Northern Ireland’s final game in the group is on Friday when they will face Hungary at the Globall Football Park in Telki. That game starts at 2pm UK time.
Full-time: Belgium WU17s 4 Northern Ireland WU17s 0
Belgium WU17s: Aude Waldbillig, Febe Van Herreweghe, Lise Bal, Chionne Bonny, Flo Hermans, Romy Wenning, Megan Watson, Axelle Bamps (captain), Clementine Reynebeau, Manon Heremans, Oona Careel.
Substitutes: Juliette Demol (GK), Lotte Tyvaert, Eglantine Dorthu, Kiki Peeters, Marie Samijn, Ella Schoeters, Alexia Dooms, Fleur Heyman, Lola Vanluyten.
Northern Ireland WU17s: Abbie Smith, Niamh Hassan, Gracie Conway, Daisy Conway, Ellen Hampton, Eva Myles, Zoe Knox, Darcie McNeill (captain), Rhianna Breen, Bernadette Ferreira, Niamh Boothroyd.
Substitutes: (used) Lucy Kelly, Jessica McGuinness, Rhianna Murphy, Laura Dowey, Laurie Bell; (unused) Zara Maguire (GK), Sophie Kelly-Bradley, Clodagh Maguire, Mia Moore.