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WATCH | 'Ukraine v Northern Ireland had one of THE great red cards..'

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

22:13 14 Apr 2021


As Northern Ireland confirmed their qualification for the UEFA Women's Euro 2022, we were left to look at one of 'the great red cards'.

Joe Molloy was joined by Dan McDonnell, and hailed Natiya Pantsulaya's cynical foul on Sarah McFadden during the second leg of their 4-1 aggregate defeat.

"The Ukrainian player had maybe a 20-yard head-start on the Northern Ireland player and was the favourite for the ball, and - all respect to her - she made a very early decision to try and clothesline the opposition and she wasn't put off it.."

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland boss Kenny Shiels was delighted with his side's efforts in getting to the championships.

"I look at my staff, grown men, over there crying," Northern Ireland boss Shiels told the BBC.

"I am nearly in bits myself. It is down to the girls at the end of the day. When I came in in 2019 the girls were traumatic, in bits, in pieces, and I was a new face. But they were self-driven and took it on."

Shiels added: "You have to take it in context. You look at what Rory McIlroy and Steven Davis have done for Northern Ireland.

"This here, far and away, is the best ever sporting achievement for Northern Ireland. For the UK, actually. When you put it in context.

"These are amateur players, 16 of the panel play in the Irish League for clubs such as Glentoran, Linfield, Cliftonville and Crusaders. I am so grateful for those clubs.

"But they are playing against players who are playing for all the top teams in Europe. Barcelona players, Man City players, Arsenal players.

"It is incredible what they achieved."

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