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Saturday 24 Feb 2024
Back to back wins for WU17s

Northern Ireland's Women's Under-17 defeated Luxembourg to make it two wins from two in their Euro qualifiers in Malta this week and earn promotion back to League A for the 2024-25 qualifying campaign.


Women’s U17 Euro 2024 Qualifiers, League B Group 5


Northern Ireland WU17 4-1 Luxembourg WU17


Northern Ireland: Boothroyd (45+1’), Conway (58'), Breen (81'), Moore (90+3')

Luxembourg: Alves (72')


Centenary Stadium, Ta’Qali


24 February 2024

Team News

Northern Ireland’s Women’s Under-17 team are facing Malta and Luxembourg this week in stage two of the qualifiers for Women’s U17 Euro 2024.

Gail Redmond's side cruised to a crushing 5-1 victory over hosts Malta in their opening game on Wednesday.

Redmond made just two changes to the side that kicked the campaign off, bringing in Zoe Knox and Bernie Ferreira to replace Clodagh Maguire and Rhianna Breen while Darcie McNeill retains the captaincy.

How it happened

Looking to build on Wednesday's emphatic victory over Malta, Northern Ireland got off to a bright start with Gracie Conway forcing keeper Isabel Blanco Hayes into a save after just four minutes.

That set the trend for much of the opening period with both Ellen Hampton and Bernie Ferreira having efforts on goal soon after, with Niamh Boothroyd producing another stop from Blanco Hayes with just over a quarter-of-an-hour on the clock.

However Luxembourg almost broke the deadlock on 21 minutes when Lena Alves turned an effort onto the woodwork.

Normal service resumed as the first half progressed, though, with Ferreira, Zoe Knox and Mia Moore all seeing shots on goal blocked by the opposition defence, while skipper Darcie McNeill just failed to hit the target.

All this endeavour was eventually rewarded when, in first half stoppage time, Boothroyd fired Northern Ireland in front after being teed up by Conway.

Half-time: Northern Ireland WU17 1-0 Luxembourg WU17

Luxembourg began the second half on the front foot, winning a series of free-kicks but all without troubling keeper Abbie Smith.

And Northern Ireland weathered the storm perfectly to double their advantage just before the hour after Conway found the net after receiving the ball from Moore.

Looking to kill the game off, Redmond brought on Rhianna Breen and the Linfield striker almost made her impact felt immediately with one attempt on goal and another blocked, while Moore and McNeill also threatened.

Luxembourg reduced the deficit on 72 minutes, however, through Alves' finish after being played through by Eva Marinelli.

But Northern Ireland's two-goal cushion was restored just nine minutes after when Breen knocked the ball past Blanco Hayes from yet another Moore assist.

Luxembourg exerted some pressure in the closing stages but despite winning a series of free-kicks they couldn't claw their way back into the game.

They proved to be no match for Redmond's charges, and so it proved deep into added time when Moore knocked home a fourth to wrap up a hugely successful few days for the Under-17s.

Full-time: Northern Ireland WU17 4-1 Luxembourg WU17


Northern Ireland: Abbie Smith, Niamh Hassan, Olivia Best, Daisy Conway, Ellen Hampton, Mia Moore, Darcie McNeill (captain), Zoe Knox, Niamh Boothroyd, Bernie Ferreira, Gracie Conway.

Substitutes: (used) Rhianna Breen, Laura Dowey, Lucy Kelly, Rhianna Murphy, Ella Parker; (unused) Zara Maguire, Sophie Bradley, Clodagh Maguire, Jessica McGuinness.

Luxembourg: Isabel Blanco Hayes, Joana Ribeiro Fernandes, Ella Schmit, Ana Barbosa Abreu, Lana Beffort, Anna Miny (captain), Olivia Konsbruck, Lena Alves, Carolina Barbosa De Sousa, Maylis Cabral Tavares, Eva Marinelli.

Substitutes: (used) Charlie Jorge Magalhaes, Zoe Teixeira, Federica Morvilli, Mayssa Naffouti; (unused) Lilli Sophie Schroeder, Rose Francoise Arnaud Schmitz, Gwendy Merlevede, Joy Weber, Jenny Soares Magalhaes