Simone Magill of Everton celebrates the opening goal Birmingham City Women v Everton Women, Women’s FA Cup Semi-Final football match, Autotech Stadium, Solihull, UK - 30 Sep 2020 Photo: Lynne Cameron for The FA

‘We really had to dig deep’ – Everton’s Magill reflects on a famous night for Northern Ireland

Everton forward Simone Magill says that Northern Ireland had to dig deep to record their historic 2-1 victory over the Ukraine in Kovalivka this evening.

The 26-year-old netted the winning goal for Kenny Shiels’ side as they secured a priceless victory in the away leg of their UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 play-off tie.

Speaking after the match via Northern Ireland’s official media channels, Magill said that her side had to dig deep for their huge result.

“We lost Furney (Rachel Furness) early in the game and we had to really dig deep,” Magill said. “Not only did we get a goal, it was backs to the wall for the last 10-15 minutes.

“We really dug in deep and I think that just shows the character of the side. It is not just about the 11 girls on the pitch, it is about the character of the whole squad and we really dug deep to get that result tonight.”

Beating a side 25 places above them in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings is some achievement for Northern Ireland but Magill went on to add that the hard work is not complete just yet.

“We have been underdogs all of our lives and we have got this far being an underdog and we recognise that,” she said. “We love a challenge. We came here confident and we will be confident going into Tuesday as well.

“We recognise that there is still a long way to go. There is still a big 90 minutes ahead of us and we are going to give it absolutely everything like we did tonight and that will hopefully get us over the line.”

The second leg of Northern Ireland’s UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 play-off against Ukraine takes place at Seaview in Belfast on Tuesday evening and kicks-off at 7.45pm.

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