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Release Date: 19/05/2012

NORTHERN Ireland stormed to a 4-1 victory over Bulgaria in today's UEFA Women's Euro 2013 qualifier at Solitude.

It took Simone Magill just three minutes to open the scoring when, following an excellent build up, she found herself clear on the edge of the area to place the ball beyond the reach of 'keeper Roksana Shahanska in off an upright.

Two minutes later Kirsty McGuinness added a second for Alfie Wylie's side. This time Magill turned provider with a great delivery for the Sunderland star to connect with and lob over Shahanska.

The visitors levelled on 34 minutes following a lapse in concentration which created an opening for Valentina Gospodinova to calmly fire past Emma Higgins.

But Northern Ireland's two-goal cushion was restored a minute from the break when, from a McGuinness corner, unfortunate midfielder Borislava Kireva headed into her own net whilst attempting a clearance.

And it was 4-1 ten minutes into the second half after Caragh Milligan unleashed a sweet finish past the beleaguered Shahanska.

That was how it stayed with the remainder of the game being a evenly contested affair although Bulgaria did come close in the closing moments only to be twice denied by the excellent Higgins.

Northern Ireland remain fourth in Group Three but are now only three points behind leaders Belgium.

Northern Ireland: Higgins, Corry, Bailie, Caldwell, Nelson, Lennon, Milligan, Magill, McFadden, McGuinness, Furness subs Parker (not used), McWilliams  (not used), Moss (not used), Stephens (not used), Vance (replaced Lennon 66), O'Hagan (replaced Magill 77), Smyth (replaced McGuinness 71)

Bulgaria: Shahanska, Tsekova, Nacheva, Voyskova, Radoyska, Kireva, Kostova, Petrunova, Slavcheva, Todorova, Gospodinova subs Matarova (not used), Petkova (replaced Petkova 90+1), Hristova (replaced Kireva 75), Asenova (replaced Gospodinova 88), Gaberova (not used), Dimova (not used)


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  • Northern Ireland Ladies v. Bulgaria Ladies 19th May 2012

    Northern Ireland celebrate going two-up after just five minutes

    Picture: Gareth Irvine/

  • Northern Ireland Ladies v. Bulgaria Ladies 19th May 2012

    Aoife Lennon beats Borislava Kireva to a header

    Picture: Gareth Irvine/

  • Northern Ireland Ladies v. Bulgaria Ladies 19th May 2012

    Kirsty McGuinness gets a shot in as Radoslava Slavchenka closes down

    Picture: Gareth Irvine/

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