Chelsea FC Women goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger made her international debut for Germany as they beat the Republic of Ireland 3-1 in the UEFA Euro 2022 qualifiers and Jonna Andersson registered her first senior international goal as Sweden beat Slovakia 6-0.
Berger received her first international cap this evening having earnt a place in the starting line-up of the German national side. The Chelsea goalkeeper, along with Blues team-mate Melanie Leupolz, helped their team maintain a 100 per cent record in their Euro qualifying campaign with a comfortable victory in Dublin.
Leupolz also featured in Germany’s commanding 6-0 triumph over Greece Friday evening, while Berger was an unused substitute. Leupolz came on in midfield with half-an-hour left of play and was handed the captain’s armband. They were 4-0 up by half-time and Germany are confirmed as Group I winners.
Sweden who thumped Slovakia 6-0 in their final Group F match with Andersson bagging herself a first international goal when she scored the fourth of the night. And what a goal it was from the Chelsea defender! The 27-year-old, who is known for assisting goals, this time got in on the act when she pulled the trigger from range and her left-footed effort sailed swiftly into the top corner.
Andersson played the full 90 minutes at left-back while Chelsea’s skipper Magdalena Eriksson, who was recently named as Sweden’s player of the year and defender of the year, remained on the bench. The Scandinavians had already qualified as group winners before tonight’s match and have won seven and drawn one.
Pernille Harder and Denmark drew 0-0 in their final match of Group B against second-place Italy. The Danes had already booked a place in the European Championships with a 3-1 victory away to Italy last month and they top the group undefeated with nine victories and a draw and a goal difference of 47.
In order to be in for a chance of qualifying for the tournament, Wales and Sophie Ingle had to win against Belarus tonight and they also needed Northern Ireland to drop points against Faroe Islands who are bottom of Group C.
Jayne Ludlow’s Wales put on a determined performance at Newport’s Rodney Parade and managed to beat Belarus 3-0, however, Northern Ireland who were level on points ahead of tonight’s fixtures managed to beat Faroe Islands 5-1. Although both sides finished level on points, Northern Ireland finish higher by virtue of scoring two away goals in their 2-2 draw with Wales in Newport last year, and that means that Ingle and her team-mates have not qualified for the Euros.
Scotland were unable to beat Finland this evening, so Erin Cuthbert and her team-mates do not qualify for the European finals. It was a sucker punch for the Scots after Finland broke the deadlock in stoppage time through Amanda Rantanen in Edinburgh.
Scotland and Cuthbert travelled to Lisbon to face Portugal on Friday night, a game which ended in a frustrating 1-0 defeat. Portugal scored with 20 minutes left of the Group E when former Blue, Ana Borges, buried the ball from close range. Cuthbert had a chance to level the scoring in the closing stages and restore some hope to their Euro 2022 hopes but her shot was saved well by Patricia Morais in goal.
Scotland, who have qualified for the last two major tournaments, are still to play Cyprus away and the Portuguese at home in February.
Bethany England, Carly Telford and Niamh Charles all linked up with the Lionesses at St George’s Park for their final training camp of the year. Following the cancellation of a friendly against Norway which was due to take place in Sheffield this evening, Phil Neville’s squad took part in two in-house training matches during their 10-day camp.
The Blues will return to domestic football this Sunday when we welcome West Ham United to Kingsmeadow. The match kicks off at an earlier time of 12.30pm and is available to watch live on the BBC Red Button.
There is an opportunity for 2019/20 season ticket holders to attend the match at the weekend and you can see the full details and how to apply for a ticket here.