Republic of Ireland Women's Under-19s v England

England 3-1 Republic of Ireland

Saoirse Noonan strike for Republic of Ireland not enough against strong England side

Republic of Ireland Women’s Under-19s suffered defeat in their second game of their mini-tournament after three great strikes from a strong England side.

Cork City WFC striker Saoirse Noonan scored Ireland’s only goal of the game in the 3-1 defeat in Portugal with Ireland set to play their final game of the three-game tournament on Sunday against the host nation.

Ireland are playing top quality opposition in the mini-tournament to help prepare for the UEFA Elite Round in April 2018 which will be hosted by Ireland. Dave Connell’s side will face Spain, Austria and Turkey in a bid to qualify for the summer’s finals in Switzerland.

Despite the defeat, WU19 Head Coach Dave Connell has praised the players for a much-improved performance from their defeat against Portugal on Wednesday.

Connell said: “We’re much happier than we were on Wednesday. It was a really good performance from the players and we’ve been beaten by three great strikes from the English. We’re probably a little bit disappointed we didn’t close them down from the edge of the box but we were much better.

“We improved in every department. Obviously, we’re disappointed with the result but Saoirse scored a great goal, great run to the back-post and finish.

“As a group, we were much better and it was great the young kids do really well again. Megan Mackey, Alannah McEvoy and Doireann Fahey all did very well and their progression will be extremely important as we head towards that Elite Round stage.

“We made a few late substitutions in this game so there wasn’t too much changing during the game. Looking ahead to the third game, the other players will get a chance to play as it’s really important everyone gets that exposure on the pitch. They had a 3-1 win over Switzerland today so they’re a good side and we’ll know what to expect.”

Republic of Ireland line-up: McAloon (GK), Doyle, Craven, Farrelly, O’Callaghan (Casey 77), Kavanagh, Mackey (Mooney 77), Noonan, Fahey (Warner 65), Reddy (Burke 70), McEvoy (Trill 77).

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