INTERNATIONAL: McDaniel the supersub to secure late draw for Northern Ireland against Scotland

Brenna McPartlan (left) and Emily Wilson (second right) battling with Scotland at Mourneview Park in the 1-1 draw. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Brenna McPartlan (left) and Emily Wilson (second right) battling with Scotland at Mourneview Park in the 1-1 draw. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Substitute Louise McDaniel sparked wild celebrations on and off the pitch as she took just seven minutes to step off the sidelines and onto the scoresheet against Scotland in a gripping 1-1 draw.

McDaniel secured a place in the Northern Ireland record books with her nation’s first goal in the history of the tournament to secure a welcome landmark point.

Megan Bell flashed an early free-kick just wide of the Scotland post in search of an early boost for the home fans within the 1,771-strong crowd at Mourneview Park.

Scotland carved out the first clear opening when the dangerous combination of Samantha Kerr and Kirsty Hanson linked up but the latter fired over the bar from a promising position.

Northern Ireland responded with Bell releasing Rebecca Bassett along the right and her teasing cross just lacked a supporting touch to convert.

Lauren Perry produced a smart reaction stop to deal with Claire Adams’ long-range drive and push it onto the crossbar.

Scotland continued to increase the pressure with a low angled effort by Amy Gallacher which trickled past Perry’s far post.

A shot from distance by McParlan was collected by Rebecca Flaherty as Northern Ireland pushed in search of the upper hand.

The game turned in Scotland’s favour, however, within the opening two minutes of the second half.

Gallacher’s clever and perfectly-weighted angled pass was matched by the run of Hanson and the dangerous forward produced a delicate finish to break the deadlock.

Bassett continued to offer Northern Ireland’s greatest attacking threat and she fired one shot into the side-netting before cutting the ball back for the unmarked Leyla McFarland, with the latter’s shot lacking the power to trouble Flaherty.

However, McDaniel secured a well-earned point for spirited Northern Ireland with her decisive close-range touch on 85 minutes off Megan Reilly’s corner-kick.

NORTHERN IRELAND: Perry, Moore (Orr, 82), McMaster, Burns, McPartlan, Bassett, Bell, Wilson (Magee, 69), Reilly, McFarland (McDaniel, 78), White.

SCOTLAND: Flaherty, Michie, Paterson, Whyte, Kerr, Gallacher (Notley, 82), Hanson, Brown (Napier, 65), Adams, Cornet, Boyce (McGregor, 81).

Referee: Soro (Norway).