Northern Ireland Women’s U-19s 5-0 Latvia

Bob Hall sports photography

Northern Ireland U-19s swept Latvia aside in the first of their three Euro qualifiers at Seaview over the coming week, Kosovo won 4-0 against Cyprus in the other game.

Latvia had the ball in the net after two minutes, however Santa Sanija Vuskane’s effort was ruled out for offside.

Naomi McLaughlin had two decent efforts,  Sarah Jane McMaster’s long-range shot drifted just wide and then Mikayla Wildgoose cleared an effort from Latvia’s Evelina Uspalevica off the line.

Northern Ireland upped the tempo after the break and got their reward in the 62nd minute, when Ella Haughey swung in a pinpoint cross for Aimee Neal to powerfully headed home.

Five minutes later Northern Ireland went two up. Eve Reilly teed up Helen Parker, whose strike from 25 yards sailed into the top corner.

Northern Ireland Women’s U-19s 5-0 Latvia
Photo: Ephy McConnell

Reilly played a one-two with Haughey before curling the ball into the top corner, McLaughlin twisted past a couple of markers just outside the area and clipped the ball into the net off the inside of the post, substitute Keri Halliday later  drilled the ball home from an angle.

Matchday two will see Kosovo take on Latvia at noon on Friday (7 April) at Solitude, while Northern Ireland are set to face Cyprus at Seaview on Friday, also at noon.

The winners of the group will be promoted to League A for 2023-24 round one.

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