Kenny Shiels’ Northern Ireland continued their excellent form in the World Cup qualifiers by sweeping aside North Macedonia by nine goals to nil at Seaview this evening. This win follows Thursday’s 11-0 (record-breaking) 11-0 victory over the same opposition in Skopje. Not even the mighty Lionesses could match scoreline, only managing to score eight at Southampton back in September.
Northern Ireland named an unchanged side from the aforementioned win in Skopje and they didn’t have long to wait for the first goal from Simone Magill. Although to her disappointment the goal was ruled out for an offside in the build up.
The fans didn’t wait long for the net to ripple thanks to Kirsty McGuinness’ first goal of the evening.
Rebecca Holloway doubled the lead on thirty minutes with an absolute beaut from thirty years after some nice work in the build up from Magill and Marissa Callaghan.
Liverpool’s Rachel Furness joined the party and followed her weekend hat-trick with another, her 37th Northern Ireland goal to exceed David Healy as the country’s overall record goalscorer.
McGuinness bagged her second of the night and gave the team a comfortable 4-0 lead going into half time.
Lauren Wade thought that she’d added a fifth but again the home side were thwarted by the referee’s assistant and their offside flag.
It wasn’t until the sixty-second minute when Northern Ireland were able to add to the lead when McGuinness completed her hat-trick.
Two minutes later Holloway scored her second goal of the game converting Wade’s cross on the back post.
Everton’s Magill already secured my player of the match award a long time ago but she made sure that there was never any doubt when she added a deserved goal in the seventy-fourth minute.
There was still time for Furness to get her second of the night and for substitute Kerry Beattie to punish a goalkeeping error one during injury time.
Northern Ireland: Jackie Burns, Rebecca McKenna, Demi Vance, Sarah McFadden, Julie Nelson, Rebecca Holloway, Marissa Callaghan (captain), Rachel Furness, Simone Magill, Lauren Wade, Kirsty McGuinness.
Substitutes: Joely Andrews, Ciara Watling, Louise McDaniel, Kerry Beattie, Caitlin McGuinness; Becky Flaherty, Maddy Harvey-Clifford, Chloe McCarron, Kelsie Burrows, Rachel McLaren, Nadene Caldwell, Caragh Hamilton.
North Macedonia: Magdalena Lekovska, Ane Boseska, Katerina Mileska (captain), Elma Shemsovikj, Ulza Maksuti, Hava Mustafa, Afrodita Salihi, Elena Petrovska, Teodora Jankovska, Kristina Petrushevska, Ana Milchevska.
Substitutes: Verica Kolevska (GK), Kristina Pavlovska (GK), Teodora Giorgjevska, Sara Kolarovska, Aleksandra Markovska, Sara Husein, Jana Chubrinovska, Sara Velkova, Viktorija Nedeva, Hristina Joshevska, Radica Choneva, Elena Paneska.
Photo: Northern Ireland