Sign up to the Irish FA Newsletter today

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news from the Irish FA including ticket updates, match information, competitions, articles and much more.
Thank you

Friday 27 Oct 2023
Northern Ireland Women sunk by last-gasp winner

Northern Ireland’s senior women’s team were cruelly defeated in a UEFA Women’s Nations League encounter in Hungary this evening.

Tanya Oxtoby’s side twice came from behind to level against the Hungarians but a goal deep into injury time gave the home side a 3-2 victory.

Northern Ireland had to defend for long spells, especially in the first half, however they produced their best football towards the end of the game and were unlucky not to come away with a point.

Substitutes Caragh Hamilton and Simone Magill were on target for Oxtoby’s team but goals from Viktoria Szabo and Dora Sule plus the 94th minute sucker punch landed by Hanna Nemeth were enough to get the Hungarians over the line.

Northern Ireland, who face the Hungarians again in part two of a Nations League double header in Belfast on Tuesday, struggled in windy conditions at the Gyirmoti Stadion in Gyor. And their normal passing game was disrupted by the muddy playing surface.

The first chance fell to Hungary. Evelin Fenyvesi fired a shot in from distance which was parried away by Northern Ireland keeper Shannon Turner.

Northern Ireland defenders Rebecca Holloway and Sarah McFadden were involved in a series of interventions as the home side pushed forward at every opportunity.

Hungary midfielder Dora Zeller looked lively and she tested Turner with a crisp shot in the 12th minute before Turner saved a long range effort from striker Emoke Papai.

Viktoria Szabo opened the scoring for Hungary on 18 minutes when she fired a cross in from the left flank and the ball drifted over Turner’s head and dropped into the net.

Holloway produced a great last ditch block to divert a Zsanett Kajan effort away from goal - and minutes later the Hungarian forward hit the woodwork with a rasping low drive.

Kajan shot wide of the target and Turner saved a Fenyvesi attempt as Hungary continued to push Northern Ireland back.

The lively Kajan threatened again with a low shot which Turner had to push around the post.

It was all Hungary for the bulk of the first half, however as half-time approached the visitors started to move up the pitch and get on the ball more.

A Fenyvesi cross was cleared by Holloway, however the ball fell to Zeller and her curling shot flashed wide of the post.

Five minutes after the restart Papai swept a shot wide and then Turner pushed a Zeller cross out at the near post.

Northern Ireland’s first effort on goal followed shortly afterwards. Caitlin McGuinness teed up Rachel Furness and she fired a shot over the top from distance.

A powerful long range shot from Fenyvesi was pushed on to the post by Turner on 63 minutes as Hungary looked to extend their lead. More chances followed for the home side with Zeller firing a free-kick wide and Papai driving a low shot inches past the post.

On 70 minutes substitute Magill produced a great turn inside the area as she met a Lauren Wade delivery, however the ball was cleared by the Hungarian defence.

Minutes later Danielle Maxwell and Magill combined well just inside the area but Maxwell’s shot was snuffed out by the Hungarian defence.

Northern Ireland scored with their first clearcut opportunity on 81 minutes. Vance laid the ball back to Wade and her cross to the back post was nodded home by substitute Caragh Hamilton. It was her first touch after coming off the bench just two minutes beforehand.

However, Hungary grabbed the lead again just two minutes later when substitute Dora Sule scored with a superb strike from 35 yards.

Northern Ireland equalised once again in the 89th minute. Sarah McFadden was clipped inside the area by Hungary captain Henrietta Csiszar and a penalty was awarded. Magill stepped up to confidently stroke the spot kick past Hungary keeper Reka Szocs into the back of the net.

At that stage it looked like Northern Ireland had managed to grab a point in testing conditions.

However, in the fourth minute of injury time, Csiszar launched a free-kick into the area from almost the halfway line and Hanna Nemeth reacted quickest as the ball dropped into the danger zone and poked it past Turner from five yards. It was a cruel twist in the tale.

The win means Hungary have leapfrogged Northern Ireland into second place in League B Group 1 with four points from three games. Republic of Ireland, who hammered Albania in Dublin this evening, top the table with nine points.

Northern Ireland, now in third with three points, will face the Hungarians again at Seaview on Tuesday and will be hoping the surface there will be more suited to their expansive style of play.

Hungary: Reka Szocs, Boglarka Vida, Diana Nemeth, Laura Kovacs, Hanna Nemeth, Evelin Fenyvesi, Dora Zeller, Henrietta Csiszar, Emoke Papai, Zsanett Kajan, Viktoria Szabo.

Substitutes: Agnes Pongracz (GK), Laura Palakovics, Sara Pusztai, Csilla Savanya, Dora Sule, Virag Nagy, Fanni Nagy, Fanni Vachter, Kinga Sikler, Bernadett Zagor.

Northern Ireland: Shannon Turner, Demi Vance, Rebecca McKenna, Rebecca Holloway, Sarah McFadden, Nadene Caldwell (captain), Joely Andrews, Rachel Furness, Caitlin McGuinness, Danielle Maxwell, Lauren Wade.

Substitutes: (used) Megan Bell, Simone Magill, Caragh Hamilton, Ellie Mason; (unused) Rachael Norney, Lilie Woods, Chloe McCarron, Kelsie Burrows, Laura Rafferty, Emily Wilson, Kerry Beattie, Abbie Magee.