The UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 play-offs have returned their verdict and there was a huge upset as Northern Ireland defeated Ukraine to qualify for their first ever senior international tournament alongside Switzerland and Russia.
Northern Ireland are currently ranked number 49 by FIFA, while Ukraine are ranked 24. It is an amazing performance that cannot be underestimated and full credit to Kenny Shiels and his players for this qualification.
Northern Ireland were seeded in Pot 4 when the Euro qualification draw was made back in 2019.
The teams in Group C were ranked by UEFA as follows:
- Norway (6)
- Wales (15)
- Belarus (27)
- Northern Ireland (31)
- Faroe Islands (37)
Northern Ireland finished, against all the odds, in the second place in their Group and earned the right to play-off against Ukraine, who were seeded in pot 2 and ranked 16th by UEFA at the time.
It was already a fantastic performance to make the play-offs in the first place and defeating Ukraine 4-1 on aggregate is nothing short of exceptional for one of the smallest nations in the continent that can count only five professional players.
The 16 finalists are:
The pots for the UEFA Women’s Euros 2021 draw will be as follows:
Pot 1: England, Netherlands, Germany, France
Pot 2: Sweden, Spain, Norway, Italy
Pot 3: Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria
Pot 4: Iceland, Russia, Finland, Northern Ireland
The following Arsenal players might be involved next summer in the tournament that will take place in England:
England: Leah Williamson, Jordan Nobbs, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Beth Mead. Anna Patten and Fran Stenson are eligible to play but are not currently involved with the Senior squad.
Netherlands: Vivianne Miedema, Jill Roord, Danielle van de Donk
Germany: Leonie Maier
Switzerland: Noelle Maritz, Lia Walti, Malin Gut
Austria: Viktoria Schnaderbeck, Manuela Zinsberger
Congratulations from all at dailycannon to the Northern Ireland players and coaching staff for this amazing achievement!