Group 3 saw a double helping of the Irish for the current European champions and the top three get even closer to potential qualification.
Friday 6th April
Republic of Ireland 2-1 Slovakia
Talking of double helping, this was one of two matches on the day. Republic of Ireland knew they would need to keep on getting results in qualification to stand a chance to qualify. They kept their good turn of form up following the draw against the European champions Netherlands in November.
They had previously beaten Slovakia 2-0 in October and it looked like it would go the same way. Slovakia did make it tough for them with one more attempt on goal. The Republic managed to break the deadlock in the 69th minute when Leanne Kiernan scored her first goal of the campaign. Slovakia got a goal back with Marie Hourihan being credited for an own goal. A few minutes from time, Amber Barrett put Republic of Ireland ahead and secured the win with her first goal.
Netherlands 7-0 Northern Ireland
The Dutch were coming off a 5-0 thrashing of Slovakia last time around and they were ruthless yet again. They were playing in front of a record crowd of 30,238. Clearly, the crowd spurred them on as it took only 9 minutes for the scoring to start and Lieke Martens was the scorer. She added another to her tally 10 minutes later. Vivianne Miedema and Sherida Spitse got in on the scoring before half time with the latter converting a penalty.
Northern Ireland held on well to keep the score at 4-0 until the 63rd minute when Shanice van de Sanden added another with Spitse notching up a brace a little later on. The scoring was ended by an own goal in the last moments of the game by Billie Simpson.
Tuesday 10th April
Republic of Ireland 0-2 Netherlands
The second double header saw the Dutch travel to Ireland to face their next opponents. The Republic had proved to be quite a stern test last time round. They did so once again hardly having any attempts on goal themselves but the Netherlands having the majority of them.
It didn't take too long before the Lionesses roared into a lead. Lineth Beerensteyn scored first and Sherida Spitse yet again converted a penalty to double the lead. Despite the attempts, that was all the goals that occured in this tie. The win ensured that Netherlands topped the group 3 points ahead of the Republic.
Northern Ireland 0-3 Norway
Norway knew that they need to keep up with the others in order to possibly spring into one of two possible qualification spots. They kept those hopes up with a good win against Northern Ireland. Caroline Graham Hansen came up with a double an hour into the match and Isabell Herlovsen wrapped up the win. The Norwegians had 23 attempts in the match so a goal was coming but the Northern Irish did well to hold on when they did.
Netherlands go away to Northern Ireland in their next match which could be yet another win for them and they aren't far off from automatic qualification. Their final two matches take place against Slovakia at home and an away trip to Norway.
As for second and third place, their final games could be interesting. Republic of Ireland have three games to go with two of them against Norway just a few days apart in June. Their final game is against their rivals Northern Ireland on 31st August. Norway have the upper hand being behind by only one point but they have a game in hand.