Portugal pip Romania in Women's EURO play-off
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Romania 1-1 Portugal (aet, agg: 1-1, Portugal win on away goals)
Andreia Norton's extra-time goal sends Portugal to their first senior final tournament.
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- Portugal qualify for first senior women's final tournament on away goals in Cluj
- Extra time needed after second goalless 90 minutes in play-off
- Debutant substitute Andreia Norton gets Portugal's away goal in 105th minute
- Laura Rus levels for Romania on night but their maiden play-off ends in defeat
- Finals draw: 17:30CET, 8 November, Rotterdam - Portugal in Pot 4
Portugal will make their senior final tournament debut at UEFA Women's EURO 2017 in the Netherlands next summer after winning an epic play-off with Romania.
For Portugal, who began qualifying in the fourth tier of seeds with a ranking of 26th and pipped regular qualifiers Finland to the play-offs from Group 2, this was some achievement – especially given their inability to make their dominance count in the first leg.
The opener was drawn 0-0 in Lisbon on Friday, with the hope side having a penalty saved, and the 90 minutes in Cluj were also goalless, albeit after a frantic start in which Carolina Mendes's back-heel hit the post.
Andreia Norton, introduced from the bench on 78 minutes for her senior debut, came close from distance shortly afterwards and, in added time, Alexandra Lunca's deflected shot was just saved by Portugal goalkeeper Patricia Morais.
Ana Borges had an effort cleared off the line in extra time but, just before the change of ends, she ran down the left and her perfect pass was turned in by Norton. Another substitute, Laura Rus, fired in on the turn to level on the night with nine minutes to go but Romania's debut play-off ended in disappointment, with Norton closest to getting the game's third goal.
The crowd of 7,110 was a record for a home Romania women's international and the second highest ever for a UEFA Women's EURO play-off.