Louise McDaniel’s late-goal saw Northern Ireland pick up a historic draw against Scotland, and puts Scotland’s hopes of qualifying for the Semi-Finals hanging by a thread.
The first half was a goalless affair but with plenty of chances, most notably Scotland’s Kirsty Hanson who shot over after a clever passing move.
But in the opening minute of the second half, Scotland took the lead through a wonderful finish from Hanson.
Northern Ireland came back into the game as Scotland seemed more willing to be patient in possession. But as the hosts went for the equaliser, they were rewarded as McDaniel headed in from a corner. That was both Northern Ireland’s first goal at the UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship – and it proved enough to secure their first ever point.
Both sides can still reach the Semi-Finals, but need the other to lose their final match. Northern Ireland plays Germany, who have already qualified, whilst Scotland takes on Spain.
Northern Ireland had the game’s first chance as Megan Bell curled a free-kick just wide.
But Scotland was coming into the game with Amy Gallacher and Sam Kerr causing the host’s defence problems, without testing the keeper Lauren Perry.
Gallacher won a free-kick just outside the Northern Ireland’s box, but Courtney Whyte curled her shot well over.
And then, in the 20th minute, Scotland should have taken the lead. A clever passing move on the edge of the box allowed Kerr to pass to Kirsty Hanson, who beat two defenders before chipping the ball over the crossbar.
Northern Ireland was threatening on the counter, but it was Scotland who was on top. A Scotland corner was partially cleared, but only as far as Claire Adams whose piledriver had to be tipped onto the crossbar by Perry.
Late on in the first half, Gallacher came close for Scotland on a couple of times, and Northern Ireland’s Brenna McPartlan had a shot saved by Becky Flaherty.
It took a matter of seconds of the second half for Scotland to take the lead. Amy Gallacher’s through-ball sent Kirsty Hanson into the box, and she slid her shot under the keeper.
Northern Ireland tried to find an immediate equaliser and came close from a corner, but Emma McMaster’s shot was bravely blocked by a Scottish defender.
Scotland then came close to a second. Gallacher’s cross had to be headed off the line by Teresa Burns, and then Claire Adams had a long range shot saved by the keeper.
However, the Irish looked the more likely side to score, and Rebecca Bassett was involved in two opportunities in three minutes. The first chance saw a brilliant through-ball from McPartlan pick out Bassett in the box, but instead of squaring the ball to Emily Wilson, she fired the ball into the side-netting.
The second chance came about after a defensive mix-up between Donna Paterson and Sam Kerr, and the ball fell to Bassett in the box. This time, she was in a better position to shoot, but she passed to McPartlan whose shot was caught by Flaherty.
In the 66th minute, Scotland came agonisingly close as Adams’ 35-yard shot had to be tipped around the post by Perry.
As full-time approached, both teams were searching for the crucial goal. Northern Ireland’s Megan Bell’s surging run ended with her shot being blocked by Paterson and then Scotland’s Courtney Whyte had a 40-yard shot tipped wide, and then Paterson headed wide.
Northern Ireland went three at the back, and this positivity was rewarded as they equalised in the 85th minute when Megan Reilly’s corner was flicked on at the near post by Louise McDaniel and into the back of the net.
A minute later, Bassett could have won it, but shot into the side-netting from a narrow-angle.
Northern Ireland: (4-5-1): Lauren Perry; Courtney Moore (Chloe Orr 84), Teresa Burns, Emma McMaster (c), Yasmin White; Rebecca Bassett, Megan Bell, Megan Reilly, Brenna McPartlan, Leyla Mcfarland (Louise McDaniel 78); Emily Wilson (Abbie Magee 70).
Goal: Louise McDaniel 85.
Booked: Mcfarland 72.
Scotland (4-4-2): Becky Flaherty; Cailin Michie, Donna Paterson, Courtney Whyte, Chantelle Brown (Jamie-Lee Napier 67); Sam Kerr, Chelsea Cornet (c), Claire Adams, Carla Boyce (Shannon McGregor 72); Kirsty Hanson, Amy Gallacher (Ellis Notely 84).
Goal: Hanson 46.