Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifiers: Wales 2-2 Northern Ireland – Ashley Hutton rescues point for NI

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By Michael Pearlman
BBC Sport Wales in Rodney Parade
Ashley Hutton’s injury-time header gave a draw to Northern Ireland to dent Wales’ Women’s Euro 2021 qualifying hopes.
Simone Magill’s header put the visitors as they impressed at Rodney Parade in the Group C game.
Wales levelled when Angharad James’ shot deflected in off Emma Jones, until Kayleigh Green’s firm header looked to have obtained it on Wales.
Marissa Callaghan struck the crossbar before a error by goalkeeper Laura.
The two sides came after launching their campaigns Wales, in Group C together with scorelines of all 6-0.
However, you would never have known which side was going based on an even first half, where that the people that were if anything had been the better side.
The groups are separated from 27 places in the world rankings but Northern Ireland started impressively in Wales, pinning Jayne Ludlow’s side and producing decent chances.
Her shooter repelled and smothered the ball, although A mistake by the Wales Treaty let Lauren Wade a run in goal.
Wales’ last qualifying effort saw them maintain seven clean sheets in eight games, after just 10 minutes as they failed to clear a set-piece allowing Magill to calmly head house in Sarah McFadden’s 41, but they had been breached.
The home side struggled to create chances but from their first effort they levelled, though luck played a vital role as James’ shot off the back of Jones to wrong-foot goalkeeper Emma Higgins.
The goal triggered Wales and captain Sophie Ingle headed wide since they finished the half on the front foot.
Northern Ireland again began brightly after an excellent team move and the period began by Demi Vance.
This was a moment as from Wales’ next chance with Rhiannon Roberts delivering a cross which Green headed home at the far post and popping in attack.
Kenny Shiels’ side so were close to equalising when replacement Callaghan rattled the crossbar from 25 metres with a small deflection, with Wales scrambling the rebound clear and did not give up.
Wales suffered a calamity that was stoppage-time, although it looked like it’d be enough to secure a vital win.
Goalscorer Green gave away a free-kick by which the ball dropped under pressure, available with Hutton to go home.

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