Northern Ireland’s senior women’s team will be going all out to get a result against Hungary Women in Belfast this evening.
Tanya Oxtoby’s team are still smarting after conceding a last-gasp winner in part one of a UEFA Women’s Nations League double header against the Hungarians.
Goals from substitutes Caragh Hamilton and Simone Magill (penalty) appeared to have earned Northern Ireland a precious point in Gyor on Friday, however the hosts scored from the last attack of the game to secure all three points in the League B Group 1 contest.
At Seaview later today (7 o’clock start) the girls in green and white will have the perfect opportunity to bounce back quickly and put that heartache behind them.
Northern Ireland boss Oxtoby told media yesterday: "This game can't come quick enough for the group to get out there and put things right."
She admitted the late drama in Hungary would provide good motivation for today’s encounter as her team aim for a top two finish in their group.
In her Manager’s View column in the matchday programme for the game, Oxtoby said the players were disappointed with their slow start in Hungary.
She revealed: “We need to be ready to play right from the kick-off. It’s something we have spoken about as a group and it’s something we need to continue to work on.
“When we start to work the ball in games then we look good. We need to build on that and become more consistent. And we need to make sure we do it right from the start of matches.”
There’s a clean bill of health in the Northern Ireland squad ahead of the Nations League clash later today.
Oxtoby further said: “It’s now time to put the defeat (in Hungary) behind us and focus on what is in front of us.
“I believe home advantage and the roar of the crowd will spur us on in part two of this double header. We need to get more points on the board in League B Group 1 and we will be fired up to do that.”
The sodden, muddy pitch in Gyor did not help Northern Ireland’s passing game. The playing surface at Seaview should be more conducive to their usual style of play, although heavy rain is forecast for later and may affect conditions underfoot.
Northern Ireland will have to keep an eye on a handful of Hungarian players in particular.
Attacking midfielder Dora Zeller, who plays in Germany for FC Koln, was a constant threat during Friday’s game.
Hungary’s captain, Inter Milan midfielder Henrietta Csiszar, dictated the tempo in the middle of the park alongside experienced Ferencvaros TC-Telekom pair Viktoria Szabo and Evelin Fenyvesi. And up front Fiorentina striker Zsanett Kajan was lively and dangerous.
A win this evening would see Northern Ireland leapfrog the Hungarians into second spot in the B1 table ahead of their final two games in the group in December – away to Albania and home to table toppers and top seeds Republic of Ireland.
The game between Northern Ireland Women and Hungary Women is being shown live on the BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website. And tickets are still available for the match via irishfa.com/tickets.