Sports

Northern Ireland v England: ‘Special’ to play at sold-out Windsor Park – Callaghan


Northern Ireland captain Marissa Callaghan and England skipper Leah Williamson
England are prime of qualifying group D whereas Northern Ireland sit in third place with three video games remaining
Venue: Windsor Park, Belfast Date: Tuesday, 12 April Kick-off: 19:55 BST
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Northern Ireland captain Marissa Callaghan says Tuesday’s 2023 Girls’s World Cup qualifier with England is probably going to be “emotional”.

The sport will happen in entrance of a sold-out crowd of 16,000 at Windsor Park – a report for a ladies’s match within the nation.

“The occasion is going to be really special for everyone,” mentioned Callaghan.

Northern Ireland’s World Cup hopes are slim, however England can all however safe their spot at the finals with victory.

Callaghan, 36, added: “It will mean a lot to the squad, especially the players who have been here from the beginning – to see the transformation in the game. It fills us with so much pride.”

Group D qualifying
England are but to lose a sport in qualifying

‘We have now received to really feel we now have an opportunity’

Northern Ireland’s possibilities of reaching a maiden World Cup are all however over following their 3-1 defeat by Austria on Friday night time, which leaves Kenny Shiels’ facet third, three factors behind their play-off rivals and likewise on head-to-head.

They would want to beat England and hope Austria drop factors towards Latvia however, with the strain off, Callaghan feels her gamers shall be ready to specific themselves.

“We are going to go out and enjoy the occasion,” added the Cliftonville midfielder.

“We have put in the preparation about what we have to do and from number one to 23 we will all be ready to step on the pitch.”

Supervisor Shiels, who has guided Northern Ireland to a maiden main match within the type of Euro 2022, mentioned taking part in England was an opportunity to be taught for this summer season’s finals.

“In terms of the atmosphere and what it means for the girls, to be playing in their hometown in the National Stadium – it is a great one for the girls to look forward to.

“We have now received to really feel we now have an opportunity. We wish to play at the highest stage towards the highest stage – after which be taught from it.

“Having the crowd here will help, but we can’t depend on that, we have to look at how we can play.”

Shiels has a full praise of gamers to select for the go to of the Lionesses, with the vast majority of his squad made up of the 22 full-time home-primarily based gamers who’re in a seven-month skilled camp for the Euro 2022 finals.

‘They’re a critical contender in any sport’

England stay unbeaten in qualifying – having scored 63 objectives with out reply – and so they head to Windsor Park off the again of a 10-0 thrashing over North Macedonia.

The final assembly with Northern Ireland at Wembley Stadium in September led to a 4-0 victory for England, however captain Leah Williamson mentioned the hosts have “raised their game” since then.

“They are a serious contender in any game they play,” she added.

“The qualification for the Euros is just another example of that and hopefully they take that forward. I think the sell-out crowd [at Windsor Park] speaks for itself.”

The 2 sides face one another within the group levels of the European Championship too – and Williamson described Tuesday’s sport as a “practice run” for that.

Supervisor Sarina Wiegman can also be anticipating a hostile crowd in Belfast which can present a problem for the Lionesses, who’re anticipated to title a facet combined with youth and expertise.

“This event will be big and the crowd will be against us and not for us, I’m really looking forward to it,” mentioned Wiegman.

“[Northern Ireland] have to win if they have a chance to qualify [for the World Cup]. We want to win to get closer.”

England lead the group by 5 factors with three video games remaining, and shall be inside touching distance of automated qualification in the event that they beat Shiels’ facet.

They are going to be with out midfielder Jill Scott however Williamson will begin having missed Friday’s victory due to concussion.





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