The Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team held Russia to a scoreless draw this afternoon in Krasnoarmeysk in Group 1 of their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign and ended the Russians five match winning run in the competition.
Having conceding two goals in the opening ten minutes in Dublin last month, the Irish were much more solid this time around and although Russia enjoyed the bulk of the first half possession they rarely found a way through the Irish defence.
It wasn’t until just before half-time that Emma Byrne was seriously troubled when she had to push a header by Nelli Korovkina, from a corner by Olga Petrova, around her left-hand post.
By then her opposite number Elvira Todua had been busy as she twice saved shots from Fiona O’Sullivan and twice came off her line to save at the feet of Denise O’Sullivan as the Irish always looked dangerous on the break.
Indeed, Ireland should have gone in ahead at the break after Stephanie Roche set-up up Fiona O’Sullivan with a superb pass but the striker saw her well struck effort from 12 yards blocked by the legs of Todua.
The second half was just as cagey as the first with chances few and far between but skipper Byrne still had to pull off another excellent stop in the 89th minute to keep out a shot from Alla Sidorovskaya.
Republic of Ireland:
Emma Byrne; Aine O’Gorman, Louise Quinn, Niamh Fahey, Karen Duggan; Dora Gorman, Diane Caldwell; Julie-Ann Russell, Denise O’Sullivan, Stephanie Roche (Ruesha Littlejohn 69); Fiona O’Sullivan (Siobhan Killeen 89).
Elvira Todua; Ekaterina Dmitrenko, Ksenia Tsybutovich, Daria Makarenko, Elena Medved; Alla Sidorovskaya, Olga Petrova; Elena Tereknova (Alena Andreeva 77), Neilli Korovkina, Ekaterina Sochneva; Ekaterina Pantyukhina (Anna Cholovyaga 53).
Teodora Albon (Romania).
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