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Northern Ireland meet all requirements for Women’s Euro 2022 with 2-0 win over Ukraine



Northern Ireland booked their place at Women’s Euro 2022 on Tuesday night by securing a 2-0 win over Ukraine.

Going into the game, Kenny Shiels’ side only required a draw on the night after they won 2-1 in the first leg thanks to goals from Rachel Furness and Simone Magill.

Northern Ireland v Ukraine: UEFA Women's Euro 2022 Play-off

It is the first major tournament the team have qualified for

They nearly took the lead inside six minutes when goalkeeper Kateryna Samson flapped at a corner, but Laura Rafferty narrowly poked wide. Magill then forced Samson into a fairly routine save just before the half hour mark. Ukraine struggled to carve out many chances with the scores level at 0-0 going into the break.

Early in the second half, Northern Ireland would find the breakthrough with Cliftonville’s Marissa Callaghan showing tenacity and composure to finish from a tight angle. Ukraine again offered little in response, with Chloe McCarron nearly setting Magill up for a second goal before full time.

In the closing minutes of stoppage time, Nadene Caldwell added some gloss to the scoreline, rounding the goalkeeper to make it 2-0 on the night. Before the game, Shiels claimed that his team of largely amateurs reaching Euro 2022 would be one of the sport’s all-time great underdog stories.

Northern Ireland v Ukraine: UEFA Women's Euro 2022 Play-off

Northern Ireland will now have the chance to test themselves against the world’s best

He was similarly emotional after the victory, saying: “I look at my staff, grown men, over there crying. I am nearly in bits myself. It is down to the girls at the end of the day. When I came in in 2019 the girls were traumatic, in bits, in pieces, and I was a new face.

“But they were self-driven and took it on. You have to take it in context, you look at Rory McIlroy and Steven Davis for what they have done for Northern Ireland. This here, far and away, is the best ever sporting achievement for Northern Ireland. For the UK, actually.”

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Champions League

Nigeria captain named in Barcelona squad to face Chelsea in Women’s Champions League final




Nigeria captain Asisat Oshoala is seemingly in contention to be named in Barcelona’s matchday squad when they take on Chelsea in the UEFA Women’s Champions League final on Sunday, May 16.
The former Arsenal and Liverpool striker was named in a 23-player squad that arrived in Gothenburg on Friday evening.
Oshoala will have to undergo a late fitness test to determine if she will be available to face the current English champions.
Ten days ago, the four-time African Women’s Footballer of the Year was diagnosed with a a sprained left ankle injury, putting her participation in the Champions League showpiece in doubt.
The 26-year-old sat out Barcelona’s last two matches against Sevilla and Granadilla Tenerife due to her ailment.
Before her injury, the Super Falcons sensation had 15 goals in 21 league games and found the net four times in the Champions League.
Oshoala was in the Barcelona side that defeated Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain in the quarterfinal and semifinal respectively of the Champions League.
The Nigeria international and her Blaugranes teammates will train at the Ullevi Stadium at 5.00pm CEST today, the venue for the final.

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