Northern Ireland 0-1 Scotland: Late Caroline Weir penalty ensures win in Belfast

A late penalty from Caroline Weir gave Scotland a well deserved 1-0 friendly win over Northern Ireland in Belfast this evening.

Caroline Weir late penalty completed an impressive win for Scotland in Belfast. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Caroline Weir late penalty completed an impressive win for Scotland in Belfast. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

The 79th minute spot kick from the Manchester City star was all that was required at a sunny Seaview, as Scotland emerged victorious from the first of their two end of season friendlies.

Scotland interim boss Stuart McClaren named an experimental side for the friendly, handing a debut to Rangers’ player of the year Brianna Westrup whilst restoring striker Lana Clelland to the starting 11 for her first appearance since the 2019 World Cup. Star names Kim Little, Erin Cuthbert and Caroline Weir began the game on the bench.

In a first half that played more like a game of chess, Northern Ireland’s first chance fell to midfielder Chloe McCarron, with her angled free kick whistling over the bar after seven minutes.

Scotland would grow into the half and went close twice in the space of two minutes. Claire Emslie’s long range drive clipped the bar, before Rangers full back Rachel McLaughlin saw her speculative drive almost sneak beyond Jackie Burns in the home goal.

Early on in the second period, great work from Marissa Callaghan almost presented the home side with the opener, but Lee Alexander claimed before Rebecca Holloway could tap home.

Scotland turned up the heat on their hosts in the second half and again went close from range, as Celtic star Lisa Robertson stung the palms of Burns from distance, though Kirsty Hanson will be disappointed she didn’t put away the rebound.

Manchester City star Weir was introduced on the hour mark, though it was fellow substitute Fiona Brown who almost opened the scoring on the 75 minute mark after some good work on the edge of the box.

Weir wouldn’t have to wait long to get on the scoresheet, however, when she tucked away an excellent penalty following a foul on Christie Murray just as the game appeared to be edging towards a bore draw.

Scotland will now travel to Parc y Scarlets to take on Wales on Tuesday night (7:15pm), with McClaren likely to hand starting berths to the likes of Hibs’ Leah Eddie, who made her international debut off the bench, as he continues to test the depth of the squad ahead of September’s World Cup qualifiers.

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