The Northern Ireland Women’s football team followed in the footsteps of their male counterparts last week by causing a big upset.
And at the heart of it was Coleraine woman Lauren Wade.
The former Dunluce School pupil was part of the starting eleven in Agueda on Thursday night who secured a 1-0 win over Portugal.
Captain Marissa Callaghan’s second-half goal proved enough for Alfie Wylie’s side as they avenged a 1-0 defeat by the Portuguese earlier in the week.
“It was a magnificent result for the local ladies, and Lauren was delighted to have played her part in the win,” she told Times Sport.
“It was an unbelievable performance from the start to the final whistle. Everyone gave 100% and you couldn’t of asked for anything more.
It was an unbelievable performance from the start to the final whistle. Everyone gave 100% and you couldn’t of asked for anything more.Lauren Wade
“All week we worked on our defensive shape and breaking on the counter attack and that is what we achieved.
“We knew that defensively, we are strong and we wanted to attack more, we done that and won the game.
“The first game was also a brilliant performance and only due to a mistake from our goalkeeper Portugal was unable to break us down.
“We went into the second game with the belief that we could win and we again we achieved that.
“The mood in the camp was just fantastic, every player and staff included were buzzing.
“We came into this camp and the theme was to expect the unexpected and we did that.”
After a solid 2016 for the squad Lauren now hopes that this result can spur them on to an even better 2017.
“It is an unbelievable feeling to say you have beat Portugal,” she said.
“Again Alfie (Wylie) and our coaching staff said to go and have the belief that we can do it and we did.
“We have come on leaps and bounds from 2016 and this is a new and exciting year for the women’s team and I can’t wait to be involved with this group of girls.”
The last few months have been very special for Lauren following her success on the pitch in America, she is now hoping to build on that in the coming months.
“I didn’t expect to have the season I did in the US and I am very happy with how everything has happened for me personally,” she said.
“Having the opportunity to play out here and train everyday has enabled me to become a better player.
2017 is an exciting time Internationally, we have numerous amount of friendlies coming up which will help us prepare for the World Cup Qualifiers in September.”