Marissa Callaghan: Northern Ireland will play for injured forward Simone Magill

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Northern Ireland’s Simone Magill, center, is fouled by Norway’s Maren Mjelde during the Women Euro 2022 soccer match between Norway and Northern Ireland, at the St.Mary’s stadium, in Southampton, Thursday, July 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino) (AP)
Northern Ireland’s Simone Magill, center, is fouled by Norway’s Maren Mjelde during the Women Euro 2022 soccer match between Norway and Northern Ireland, at the St.Mary’s stadium, in Southampton, Thursday, July 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino) (AP)

Northern Ireland captain Marissa Callaghan insisted her side will play their upcoming Euro 2022 match against Austria for injured striker Simone Magill.

Magill sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury during Northern Ireland’s opening game, a 4-1 hammering at the hands of Norway in Group A.

Callaghan believes her team-mate’s injury will serve as an added incentive to the rest of the side as they look to bounce back with a positive result against Austria on Monday.

“The girls have been heartbroken for Simone,” the skipper said.

“She’s a really important player for us and, not only that, she’s a close friend.

“We always speak about this family unit we have and there were a lot of tears for her but it’s a massive incentive for us to go out and get a result for her.

“Tomorrow night it will be for Simone.”

Austria pushed England hard in the opening game of the tournament, with the hosts only securing victory by a solitary goal, but Callaghan expects an improved Northern Ireland performance from their first match.

“It’s an incredible thing to be here at a major tournament and the big thing for us is that we won’t be as nervous (against Austria).

“That’s all out of the way and this is the second game against a team that we’re really familiar with.

“We’ve played Austria twice in the last eight months (in World Cup qualifying), so we’ll go out and hopefully we’ll enjoy the game and hopefully get a result.

“I thought Austria were brilliant against England. They set up really well and gave England a really good game. They are a top side.”