Republic of Ireland held by Scotland in second UEFA Women's U-17 Elite Round qualifier

Scoreless draw keeps European Finals dream intact

Republic of Ireland held by Scotland in second UEFA Women’s U-17 Elite Round qualifier

The Republic of Ireland Women’s Under 17s remain in contention for a place at this summer’s UEFA Women’s U-17 European Championships after drawing 0-0 with Scotland.

Having beaten Serbia in their opening game in Group 4, Ireland were quietly confident of matching their opponents in this encounter. And so that proved to be the case.

Dave Bell knows how good his young team can be when attacking at pace and they showed that in this game with 17 attempts on goal and 35 breaks forward that put Scotland on the back foot.

As early as the eighth minute Ireland registered their intent with Carla McManus unloading a shot at goal that was blocked down. They kept the pressure on with Isibeal Carolan going close before she was substituted.

Ireland play a free-flowing game that tries to get in behind their opponents and they proved to be successful with that as Heather Payne and Alannah McEvoy wreaked havoc with their pace.

Scotland hardly had time to catch their breath in between chances as Tiegan Ruddy, Megan Mackey and Payne all went close in the first period. But they also had to stay alert with goalkeeper Erica Turner making a couple of fine saves.

After the interval it was more of the same from Ireland with McManus, McEvoy and Payne all unlucky not to break the deadlock. Then came the pulsating moment when McManus rattled the woodwork on 52 minutes.

Scotland made a few changes in an attempt to turn the game in their favour, but they found themselves spending most of the second period trying to limit Ireland and goalkeeper Jade Baillie was kept busy.

Ultimately, Bell’s side could not find the goal that their positive play deserved so they had to settle for a draw – which leaves them on four points after two games, matching Hungary who beat Serbia 1-0 in the other game.

Next up is a showdown with Hungary on Saturday. Another positive result could see Bell’s team finish as group winners and qualify for this summer’s finals tournament in Czech Republic.

Republic of Ireland: Turner; Grier, Ruddy, Doyle; Carolan (Fahey 23), Spillane, Toland, Payne; McEvoy, McManus, Mackey.

Scotland: Baillie; Adderley, Eddie, Cameron, Laing (Santoyo Brown 58); McAlonie; Napier, McDonald (Welch 71), Muir; Cross, Davidson (McIntosh 53).

Referee: Vera Opeykina (Russia).

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