Portugal pip Romania in Women’s EURO play-off

  • Portugal qualify for first senior women’s final tournament on away goals in Cluj
  • Extra time needed after second goalless 90 minutes in the play-off
  • Substitute Andreia Norton gets Portugal’s away goal in 105th minute
  • Laura Rus levels for Romania on the night but their debut 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 beat regular qualifiers Finland to the play-offs, this was some achievement, especially having been unable 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 but it was a frantic start, with Carolina Mendes’s back-heel hitting the post.

Andreia Norton, introduced from the bench in the 78 minute, 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 a shot 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, shot in on the turn to level on the night with nine minutes to go but Romania’s debut play-off at this level 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.

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