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Tuesday 09 Apr 2024
WU19s ease past Estonia to win group

Northern Ireland’s Women’s Under-19 team produced another fine performance to defeat Estonia WU19s 2-0 to win their group in the second phase of WU19 Euro 2024 qualifiers.


WU19 Euro 2024 Qualifiers - League B Group 5


Estonia WU19s 0-2 Northern Ireland WU19s


Northern Ireland: Niamh O’Donnell (50’), Sarah Tweedie (pen 90+7’)


Mikheil Meskhi I Stadium, Tbilisi


Tuesday 9 April 2024

Team News

It was effectively a winner takes all game in Tbilisi. Estonia’s WU19s had won their first two fixtures in the four-team group, while Northern Ireland had defeated hosts Georgia 5-0 and drawn 0-0 with Kazakhstan.

Northern Ireland WU19s manager Gail Redmond, who had a 20-strong panel at her disposal for the three games in the second phase of WU19 Euro 2024 qualifiers, made four changes from the side that drew with the Kazakhs in game two.

Coming in to the team were Erin McAllister, Mikayla Wildgoose, Abi Sweetlove and Rhyleigh Marks.

How it happened

Northern Ireland started brightly. Midfielder Aimee Kerr had a shot blocked before Estonia captain and goalkeeper Katarina Kapa saved an effort from fellow midfielder Rhyleigh Marks.

Attacker Niamh O’Donnell missed the target before Liselle Palts failed to convert a chance for the Estonians.

Around the half-hour mark Kapa made saves from defender Mikayla Wildgoose and Kerr in quick succession as Northern Ireland pushed for the opener.

As the half drew to a close Kerr and O’Donnell spurned opportunities, while full-back Sofie Keenan had an effort saved by the Estonian keeper. Down the other end Estonia substitute Vanessa Grutop had a shot blocked.

Half-time: Estonia WU19s 0-0 Northern Ireland WU19s

Northern Ireland deservedly took the lead just after the break when O’Donnell steered the ball home. Keenan provided the assist.

Around the hour mark the Estonians made a triple substitution in an attempt to freshen things up.

However, Northern Ireland still exerted control, with Kascie Weir coming close. Abi Sweetlove also had an effort which drifted past the post.

Estonia tried to turn the screw towards the end of the game. Substitute Karola Purgats clipped a shot wide before Helina Tarkmeel had a shot blocked.

Defender Sophie Magee replaced forward Rachel McIntyre as Redmond sought to shore things up towards the end.

Goalkeeper Erin McAllister saved from both Palts and Grutop as the game entered added time.

Northern Ireland were stretched, however they managed to net a second when Purgats hauled down Kerr inside the penalty area. And captain Sarah Tweedie stepped up in the seventh minute of added time to slot the spot kick into the back of the net.

The result means the WU19s topped their group with seven points - without conceding a goal - and they will now be promoted to League A for 2024-25 round one.

Full-time: Estonia WU19s 0-2 Northern Ireland WU19s


Estonia: Katarina Kapa (captain), Katrin Valba, Elisabeth Oispuu, Mia-Lisette Sarapik, Viktoria Toding, Helina Tarkmeel, Grete Kraus, Ruth Hansar, Kaili Lilles, Liselle Palts, Aleksandra Kelli.

Substitutes: (used) Vanessa Grutop, Karola Purgats, Kaisa Arike, Jane Mirjam; (unused) Roberta Jurna (GK), Nora Koiva, Emilia Mesipuu, Ranele Valk, Karina Kuraksina.

Northern Ireland: Erin McAllister, Sofie Keenan, Sarah Tweedie (captain), Niamh O’Donnell, Mikayla Wildgoose, Faye Loughran, Abi Sweetlove, Aimee Kerr, Kascie Weir, Rhyleigh Marks, Rachel McIntyre.

Substitutes: (used) Anastasija Stanyte, Megan Neill, Sophie Magee; (unused) Kate Smith (GK), Rebecca Magee, Maeve McConaghy, Orleigha McGuinness, Rebecca Mann.