England Women to Face Northern Ireland

England women’s team are set to play their first match in almost a year when they face Northern Ireland in a friendly on February 23.

England Women to Host Northern Ireland

First Game in Almost a Year

The match will take place at St. George’s Park and is set to be Hege Riise’s first game as caretaker manager following her appointment on January 19.

The legendary former Norway international will be assisted by ex-Canada defender Rhian Wilkinson in the first of two scheduled friendly games.

It will be the Lionesses’ first fixture since a 1-0 defeat to Spain in the SheBelieves Cup on March 11 2020, which turned out to be Phil Neville’s last match in charge of the side.

The game is going to be shown live on television in the United Kingdom on the BBC, in what is the first meeting between the two nations since a European Championships qualifier in 2008, when goals from Fara Williams and Faye White gave England a 2-0 victory.

The Start of England’s Build-up to the European Championships Next Year

The match signals the start of England’s build-up to the postponed Women’s European Championships next year – a competition they have automatically qualified for as hosts of the tournament.

Northern Ireland are still in contention of claiming a spot in next year’s finals and need to overcome a two-legged play-off to secure qualification.

The Lionesses are currently ranked sixth in the FIFA Women’s Rankings, while Northern Ireland are listed in 49th.

England to Also Face Canada

Meanwhile, England will also host Canada in another friendly on April 23, with a kick-off time and venue yet to be confirmed.

Sarina Wiegman will take up the role as permanent head coach of England in September, after beating off considerable interest in the job.

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