Northern Ireland women end World Cup qualifying campaign with defeat to Slovakia

Northern Ireland's Julie Nelson went close to an equaliser.
Northern Ireland's Julie Nelson went close to an equaliser.

Northern Ireland wrapped up their Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Slovakia in Portadown.

Bayern Munich striker Dominika Skorvankova netted the only goal in the 36th minute of a match with nothing but pride at stake at Shamrock Park.

Northern Ireland’s only points in Group Three had come via a 3-1 win over the Slovakians last November.

Northern Ireland captain Julie Nelson won her 100th cap and almost marked the occasion with a long-range strike.

The Crusaders Strikers defender came within inches of equalising with an outstanding effort min the second half.

On 74 minutes, Kerry Montgomery rolled a free-kick to Nelson, whose 30-yard thunderbolt was tipped onto the post by Slovakia keeper Maria Korenciova.

It was so close to a dream goal for the Northern Ireland skipper, but it wasn’t to be for Alfie Wylie’s team, who finish with only one Group win after they defeated the Slovaks 3-1 in an away encounter last November.