Euro 2022: Northern Ireland to face Ukraine in play-off

Sarah McFadden, Lauren Wade, Ashley Hutton and Marissa Callaghan
Northern Ireland made history by beating the Faroe Islands in December

Northern Ireland will face Ukraine in the two-legged play-off to reach the Euro 2022 finals.

Kenny Shiels' side will travel to Ukraine in the first leg before hosting the reverse fixture in their bid to reach a first-ever major tournament.

The two legs are scheduled to take place between 7-13 April.

Ukraine, who played the Republic of Ireland in qualifying, are 24th in the world rankings, some 15 places above Northern Ireland.

Russia were the second team out of the bowl after Ukraine, however the Uefa Executive Committee had ruled the two countries could not face each other in the play-offs. Russia were moved to the next tie and Northern Ireland were then drawn to face Ukraine.

Northern Ireland finished second behind Norway in Group C. They edged Wales into second position on head-to-head thanks to a 2-2 draw in Newport and a run of four victories over Belarus and the Faroe Islands.

Shiels' side have played one friendly since beating the Faroe Islands in December, a 6-0 defeat by Euro 2022 hosts England, in preparation for the play-off.

Ukraine finished second in Group I behind unbeaten Germany. The Republic of Ireland triumphed 3-2 in their first meeting with Ukraine but lost the away fixture 1-0 to end their hopes of qualifying.

Portugal will take on Russia and the Czech Republic will face the highest-ranked side Switzerland in the other two ties.

The winners from the play-offs will join hosts England, the nine group winners and three best runners-up at the finals next summer.

Euro 2022 play-off draw
UkrainevNorthern Ireland
Czech RepublicvSwitzerland

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