Republic of Ireland 2-0 Romania
Ireland WU17: Colin Bell’s side secure progress to Elite Round
The Republic of Ireland Women’s Under 17 team secured their qualification for the Elite Phase of the UEFA WU17 Championships with a 2-0 victory over Romania in Zenica.
Colin Bell’s side followed up their opening day win over the host country Bosnia & Herzegovina thanks to penalties converted in either half.
Tyler Toland (pictured above) scored from the penalty spot in first-half injury-time after Emily Whelan was fouled in the penalty area by Krisztina Beno.
Four minutes from time Isibeal Atkinson fired home from the penalty spot after Cristina Tudorache was penalised for a foul on Megan Mackey.
The Irish team had 21 attempts on goal to seven by the Romanians so the scoreline was a reflection of their dominance on the day.
The Bosnians meet Greece later today but regardless of their result the Irish can not be denied a top two spot which ensures a place in the Elite Round with 28 teams battling it out to qualify amongst the eight finalists at the final tournament in Lithuania next summer.
“It was a well deserved victory. The score-line really could have been much higher,” said Bell, whose side will seek to finish Group 4 with a 100 per cent winning record when they meet Greece in Kakanj on Saturday.
“I felt we played fantastic some football especially in the first half and we created a lot of chances throughout the game.
“We played some good build-up play through the thirds and mixed it up a bit too when we needed to. We had quite a few chances but it didn’t break for us. Both penalties were deserved.
“The second half was a similar performance. We had to counter some of their long balls and free-kicks. We needed the second goal to kill them off.
“After the second one came along it got a bit scrappy and they tried to provoke us a bit, looking for free-kicks and so on but it was a very strong performance and we played some really good football for this age group.
“The goal here was to qualify and that’s been achieved. We knew coming into the tournament that we needed results first and would then focus on performances but we got both today which is very pleasing.”
Republic of Ireland: Rachael Kelly, Eabha O’Mahony, Doireann Fahey, Megan Mackey, Emily Whelan, Isibeal Atkinson (Rachel O’Regan 85), Tyler Toland, Amy Boyle Carr, Andrea Trill (Roisin McGovern 79), Aoife Slattery, Zara Foley.
Romania: Katia Ghioc, Georgiana Gologan, Alexandra Tunoaia, Cristina Tudorache, Madalina Marinescu, Genoveva Roșie, Ana Maria Vlădulescu, Otilia Durla (Mihaela Purcil 41 (Andra Olaru 67)), Carmen Marcu, Krisztina Beno, Florentina Ionescu (Flaviana Negrea 86).
Referee: Tinna Hoj Christensen (Denmark).
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