Republic of Ireland promoted to UEFA Women’s Nations League A

Denise O'Sullivan scored to seal Republic of Ireland's promotion.
Denise O’Sullivan got the goal that sealed Republic of Ireland’s promotion. (Keith McInnes / SPP)

Republic of Ireland won 1-0 in Albania to secure top spot in UEFA Women’s Nations League Group B1, while Northern Ireland drew with Hungary.

Katie McCabe almost scored from a corner, Denise O’Sullivan’s close-range effort saved by Sara Maliqi’s out-stretched leg.

The rain had been so heavy in Albania that the second half was delayed by an hour. It would eventually prove well worth the wait for Eileen Gleeson’s side but in the mean time, Viona Rexhepi twice denied O’Sullivan and Kyra Carusa hit the target but conceded a foul for her challenge on the keeper.

The breakthrough came with two minutes of the 90 to go, O’Sullivan with the goal after sending Carusa away and being picked out by her pull back.

That result moved them out of reach of both Hungary and Northern Ireland, following their 1-1 tie at Seaview.

Northern Ireland drew 1-1 with Hungary
Northern Ireland goal celebrations. (Photo: Ephy McConnell)

Northern Ireland keeper Shannon Turner saved a couple of shots in quick succession from Emoke Papai, also thwarting Viktoria Szabo and Evelin Fenyvesi.

The hosts’ best chance of the first half came as Demi Vance swung in a corner which hit captain Nadene Caldwell and fell to Sarah McFadden, whose shot on the turn went inches past the post.

Dora Zeller gave the Hungarians the lead direct from a corner, approaching the hour mark.

Northern Ireland celebrate equaliser against Hungary.
Marissa Callaghan celebrates with Northern Ireland scorer Danielle Maxwell. (Bob Hall Sports Photography)

But Northern Ireland did their neighbours a massive favour with an equaliser in the 79th minute. Simone Magill won the ball and set up Danielle Maxwell to rifle home her first senior international goal.

Magill threatened to grab a winner but scooped one effort wide and saw another saved.

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