Elite Round awaits for flawless WU17s…
Ireland WU17: 100% record and no goals conceded in qualifying group after Greece win
Republic of Ireland Women’s Under-17s maintained a 100% record throughout their UEFA European Championship qualifying group with a 2-0 win over Greece.
Colin Bell’s WU17s side scored goals either side of the break to finish top of Group Four with maximum points and no goals conceded against Greece, Romania or Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Ireland dominated throughout and could have won by a greater margin as Greece failed to register a single shot on target throughout the contest.
Doireann Fahey and Isibeal Atkinson both saw early efforts saved before Ciara Fowler put Ireland ahead in the 21st minute. Megan Mackey crossed the ball into Andrea Trill who was able to touch the ball back for Fowler who finished well to score.
Ireland continued the onslaught after the break as both Chelsea midfielder Mackey and Shelbourne Ladies winger Jessica Ziu were denied by Greek goalkeeper Panagiota Vlasiadou before substitute Louise Masterson sealed the contest with five minutes remaining. It was a moment of real quality as Atkinson did well down the left and crossed for Masterson who took the ball down with her right and finished from 12 yards with her left to seal the contest.
Ireland will now await the draw to the UEFA Elite Round as they look to emulate last season’s success and qualify for the UEFA European Championships in Lithuania in May 2018.
Republic of Ireland WU17s & WNT Head Coach Colin Bell said: “We controlled everything today, dominated the play and really we should have scored a few more goals.
“We didn’t let them have one chance during the match and some of the aspects of our play were really good. We were able to move the ball really quickly and we kept possession really well so that was really good to see.
“It was a really mature performance. We didn’t know what to expect from the group really but since that first game against Bosnia where we had to really work for the result, we’ve gone on to play some really good football. In the last two games, we’ve clearly been the better team.
“I’m really happy that they’re starting to develop that style of play as that is what we’ve been working on and if we can instil that style in the players at a younger age, it’s obviously going to beneficial for the senior team in the years to come.”
Republic of Ireland: Kelly (GK), O’Mahony, McGovern, Fahey, Mackey (C), Ziu (Brady 79), Fowler (Masterson 70), Atkinson, Toland, Trill (Boyle Carr 52), Foley.
Subs not used: Maguire (GK), Lambe, Whelan, McEvoy, Slattery, O’Regan.
Greece: Vlasiadou (GK), Christodoulou, Briasouli, Kopelou (Efthymiou 76), Pachaki (Markou 80), Giamali, Strantzali (C), Kavvatha (Tsoukala 49), Skoulikariti, Gatoudi, Proxenou.
Subs not used: Psalti (GK), Vlassopoulou, Tsouni, Voila, Sakellari, Sarri.
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