Northern Ireland qualify for UEFA Women's Euro 2022 after 4-1 aggregate win over Ukraine

Northern Ireland qualify for a major tournament for the first time after beating Ukraine in Euro 2022 play-off; Second-half goals from Marissa Callaghan and Nadene Caldwell clinch 2-0 win in second leg in Belfast

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - APRIL 13: Marissa Callaghan of Northern Ireland celebrates with teammates after scoring their team's first goal during the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 Play-off match between Northern Ireland and Ukraine at Seaview on April 13, 2021 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
Image: Marissa Callaghan celebrates with her Northern Ireland team-mates after scoring the first goal during their UEFA Women's Euro 2022 play-off match second leg against Ukraine

Marissa Callaghan and Nadene Caldwell confirmed Northern Ireland's qualification for UEFA Women's Euro 2022 as they beat Ukraine 2-0 in the second leg of their play-off.

Skipper Callaghan's 55th-minute strike gave her side the lead at Seaview in Belfast before substitute Caldwell added a second deep into stoppage time to make it 4-1 on aggregate and ensure the nation's first-ever participation at a finals tournament.

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Northern Ireland Women manager Kenny Shiels pays tribute to his side, after they reached a major tournament for the first time with a Euro 2022 play-off victory over Ukraine

Kenny Shiels' side, who won 2-1 in Kovalivka on Friday, started brightly and threatened from a series of early set-pieces which repeatedly put goalkeeper Kateryna Samson under pressure.

However, as Ukraine's wide midfielders Olha Boychenko and Olha Ovdiychuk started to make an impression they were served with a reminder that their job was far from done.

Everton striker Simone Magill, who scored Northern Ireland's winner in the first leg, tested Samson from a tight angle 12 minutes before the break, but goalkeeper Jackie Burns was relieved to see Daryna Apanaschenko drag her shot wide in first-half added time.

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - APRIL 13: Marissa Callaghan of Northern Ireland clears the ball during the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 Play-off match between Northern Ireland and Ukraine at Seaview on April 13, 2021 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Image: Callaghan (second from left) scored Northern Ireland's first goal in Tuesday's second leg

In an untidy start to the second half, the home side dominated without creating genuine chances and when they finally did take the lead on the night it was a result of persistence rather than quality.

Callaghan climbed to help on Julie Nelson's deep free-kick and as defender Darya Kravets hesitated, she chased down the loose ball and stabbed it past Samson.

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The visitors unravelled as time ran down and midfielder Natiya Pantsulaya was sent off for a cynical foul on Sarah McFadden, before Caldwell made sure in the sixth minute of added time.

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