Windsor Park: Belfast stadium to host NI v the Republic of Ireland

Northern Ireland will play their final Women’s Nations League match against the Republic of Ireland on 5 December at Windsor Park.

Tanya Oxtoby’s traditionally play their home matches at Seaview.

NI have played at the redeveloped Windsor Park on two occasions, with a win over Latvia in September 2021 before a loss to England in April 2022.

The Republic of Ireland have won Group B1 but Northern Ireland can still finish second behind their neighbours.

The reverse fixture between the sides in September was the first women’s international to be played at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, where the hosts ran out 3-0 winners in front of a crowd of 35,994.

Northern Ireland’s two previous matches at the redeveloped National Stadium were a 3-0 win over Latvia in September 2021, their first fixture at the Belfast stadium in nine years, before England triumphed 5-0 just months before winning Euro 2022.

Northern Ireland’s men’s team play their home fixtures at the 18,500-capacity stadium while the women’s side usually play their home matches at Seaview, the home of Irish Premiership club Crusaders.

“To be back at the National Stadium at Windsor Park for a major senior women’s international is testament to the growth of the women’s game in Northern Ireland,” said Oxtoby, whose side drew 1-1 with Hungary at Seaview on Tuesday.

“For me, it will be particularly special to manage the team there for the first time. Not only do I feel that the players will benefit from this but our brilliant fans will make it an atmosphere to help the team perform to its peak.”

Both teams have played in their first major tournaments in the past 18 months as Northern Ireland featured at Euro 2022 and the Republic of Ireland debuted at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in July.

Angela Platt, director of women’s football at the Irish FA, added: “The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park is the home of football in Northern Ireland. It is a place we are proud of and one that is befitting of this fixture.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our neighbours from the Republic of Ireland for what we hope will be a fantastic contest.

“It will also be an opportunity to demonstrate to everyone how far the women’s game has come here and how it continues to grow across the island of Ireland.”

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