Northern Ireland vs England: Kenny Shiels offers candid assessment of a World Cup dream


Northern Ireland women’s coach, Kenny Shils, suffered defeat to qualify for next year’s World Cup before scoring free goals against England.

The Green and White armies have little chance of turning the Lions into Group D leaders, but they are only three points behind second-placed Austria in the battle for play positions before finishing three matches.

However, while Luxembourg, Latvia and North Macedonia have little competition in the top three, Chiles did not prevent Australia and New Zealand from reaching the final after losing 3-1 to Austria on Friday.

The 65-year-old watched the match in solitary confinement on Tuesday and said it would be a “remarkable feat” to defeat England at Windsor Park in Belfast in front of a crowd of around 16,000.

“It’s not necessarily a game because the qualifications are not the same,” Shiels said.

If we had won by five goals it would have been different. But let’s be realistic and not expect that to happen.

“If we beat England, it would have been a great result in the isolation of the group.”

England have a 100% qualification record and are almost certain to lead the group with 63 goals unanswered.

Northern Ireland lost 4-0 at Wembley in October and tied in the 64th minute.

They are eight points behind the leaders, while a devastating 3-1 defeat to Wiener Neustadt on Friday night put Austria ahead of the standings for second place.

Chile’s side will complete their campaign against Luxembourg and Latvia in September, but before that another match with England is set to make their main tournament debut at this summer’s European Championship.

Captain Marissa Callahan says Northern Ireland will take a positive approach against hosts Sarina Wigman, with an eye on the future.

“These are your dream games,” said the 36-year-old midfielder. “Every player is looking forward to it and will do everything.

Kenny Shils, Northern Ireland coach

“We have great players on our squad: substitutes and scorers. Who knows what might happen?

But the main thing is that it will be a great preparation going forward and we have a lot to look forward to.

“We got them at Wembley, so why not get them at Windsor? We know England are a great team, but we are.

“We come out in a good mood, we go out to win matches, to score goals, to save lives, we take advantage of this opportunity. I think it’s great for the whole country.”

Subscribe to our free sports newsletter To get the latest headlines in your inbox.

Source: Belfastlive


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:



More like this