Northern Ireland Women U-17s battle hard with Euro winners

(Bob Hall Sports Photography)
(Photo: Ephy McConnell)

Northern Ireland’s Women’s U-17s were defeated 2-0 by current European WU17 champions France in a friendly in Belfast.

It was Gail Redmond’s first game in charge since she was appointed manager of both the U-17 and U-19 teams, ahead League A 1st round qualifiers for the 2023-24 WU17 European Championship later this autumn.

Rhianna Breen put an early free-kick over the bar and Abbie Smith made a fine fingertip save, before a defensive mix-up saw Romane Rafalski set up Ornella Graziani to score.

Smith pushed a rasping shot from Ambre Ouazar onto the post as the visitors continued to pour forward.

Breen went closest to a second-half equaliser, while Meline Rubio put the ball wide of an open goal for the visitors.

Northern Ireland U-17s v France
(Bob Hall Sports Photography)

Justine Rouquet did double the lead at the death, picking up a defence-splitting pass from Djenna Tene to tuck the ball home.

Breen raced clear in search of a consolation goal but lifted her shot over the bar.

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