Republic of Ireland Women’s Under 17s lose narrowly
The Republic of Ireland Women’s Under 17s lost narrowly to Switzerland in their second Group B game at the UEFA Women’s U17 European Championships.
Dave Connell’s side largely created the best goalscoring chances and played some excellent attacking football, although a superb long-range strike from Alisha Lehmann handed the three points to Switzerland.
Having previously lost to France last Monday, Ireland now have one group fixture remaining as they take on Norway on Sunday afternoon and Connell wants his team to put in another positive performance.
“It was another narrow defeat but we definitely should have got something out of the game. We created a lot of chances but we just didn’t take them on the day and you’re punished at this level for that and that’s unfortunately what happened,” said Connell afterwards.
“There have been some wonderful individual performances in our two games, while we played well as a team today. It took a wonderful goal from Switzerland to win it, but the future really looks bright for a lot of our girls.”
It was Ireland who created the first notable chance of the game when a bursting run from midfielder Evelyn Daly allowed her to supply a pass into Eleanor Ryan Doyle, who shifted the ball to her right before unloading a shot at goal.
Switzerland goalkeeper Nadja Furrer got down to make a diving save from that shot and Ireland stopper Amanda McQuillan did something similar nine minutes later when denying Geraldine Reuteler.
McQuillan was a star performer in the game against France and she showed that she was fully alert again here. Although in front of her both Jamie Finn and Chloe Moloney were superb at breaking down attacks.
Ireland were bright in their passing, clever with their movement, and determined in their tackling — all hallmarks of a squad managed by Connell and his diligent backroom staff — and they looked the most likely to score too.
Heather Payne almost did just that on 32 minutes after excellent play by Roma McLaughlin, but the Galway girl saw her shot drift wide of the goal. The same outcome was attached to a header from Ryan Doyle.
Organised and fired up, Ireland went in search of that opening goal but it was Switzerland who got it when Lehmann fired into the top corner out of McQuillan’s reach from outside of the penalty area.
In reaction to conceding that goal, the team known as the Ice Queens hit back with three great chances as Ryan Doyle, Sarah McKevitt, and Saoirse Noonan were all unfortunate not to score.
There were many positives to take from the performance — just like against France — but Connell’s side just could not find that goal that they probably deserved. They will now look to the Norway game on Sunday.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: McQuillan; Donnelly, Finn, Moloney, Nolan; Daly, McLaughlin, Noonan; McKevitt (McCartan 76), Ryan Doyle (Prior 71), Payne (Beirne 64).
SWITZERLAND: Furrer; Felder, Humi, Kaufmann, Megroz; Hofmann, Jenzer; Dubs (Stampfli h-t), Lienhard (Staffoni 74, Barth 90+3), Lehmann; Reuteler.
Referee: Pirriatore Graziella (Italy).