UEFA Women's EURO 2017 Qualifier - Northern Ireland 1-8 Switzerland: Eight is great for super Swiss
Image credit: @SFV_ASF

In what was a quite stunning display, Switzerland took another step towards the EURO 2017 finals with a 8-1 win over Northern Ireland.

Mackin makes Swiss sweat early on

Despite the heavy defeat, it was the hosts who made all the early running. Aimee Mackin was hugely impressive and gave Ana-Marie Crnogorčević plenty to think about in the early stages, though no-one could get on the end of her promising runs or crosses.

The positivity quickly turned to despair, as Switzerland came into the game and began passing between the lines. Their first goal came from a great team move, as the ball eventually made its way out to Crnogorčević, who had her shot well saved by Emma Higgins. Unfortunately for the Northern Irish stopper, Fabienne Humm was on hand to tap into an empty net.

Switzerland show their class

Higgins was in for a busy evening, and the score-line did not do her performance justice. She made a stunning save from Vanessa Bürki's point-blank effort, before turning her drive onto the bar moments later. Her resistance would, however, be broken by Rahel Kiwic. The centre-half rose highest from a corner to power the ball home from six yards.

Northern Ireland were putting bodies on the line as Lina Wälti began to showcase her immense passing range, spraying the ball out wide before cutting it back for Martina Moser or Wälti to strike at goal. Eventually the pressure told and Moser rifled home a powerful half-volley from the edge of the area, leaving Higgins with no chance.

That strike sparked a period of four goals within as many minutes, with Switzerland turning on the style. Humm was able to score her second and the Swiss' fourth with a tap in at the back post, before a lovely run and finish from the impressive Florijana Ismaili added another. When all looked lost, Rachel Furness stunned the crowd by stroking home a 40-yard volley. Gaëlle Thalmann was caught off her line, but even then the Northern Ireland midfielder's strike was close to perfect.

Swiss seal the win

Furness' goal proved to be only momentary respite, as Martina Voss-Tecklenburg's team continued to control the possession and the play. Northern Ireland struggled to get going in the second period as Laura Rafferty was taken off at the break, but even then Mackin was isolated up front and the service just wasn't there.

After putting a few chances past the post and being denied by both Higgins and the woodwork, Switzerland finally got their sixth. Another corner proved to be Northern Ireland's undoing, as Bürki was allowed to turn and float a cross to the back post. Crnogorčević was on hand to head home from just a few yards out, just before she was brought off.

Dickenmann gets her birthday goal

The substitutes seemed to freshen up the visitors and chance after chance fell their way, with Ismaili's constant and tireless running causing endless problems. It was her hard work that created the space for Barla Deplazes to go through on goal and calmly slot past the helpless Higgins. 

There would be one final goal, and Lara Dickenmann was able to celebrate her birthday with a goal. A jinking run was finished off with the VfL Wolfsburg star lofting the ball over the oncoming 'keeper and into the net. Zuzana Kováčová blew for full-time, bringing to an end a stellar Swiss performance.