Ireland WU17: Late Mackey goal gives Ireland winning start to qualifying group

Ireland WU17: Late Mackey goal gives Ireland winning start to qualifying group

Ireland top group after opening victory against host nation…

Republic of Ireland WU17 started their UEFA European Championship Qualifying Round group games with a 1-0 win over host nation Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Chelsea midfielder Megan Mackey headed home a late goal with just three minutes remaining to give Ireland all three points in their opening game and send them top of the group.

It was a tight contest at the BH Football Centre as Shelbourne Ladies goalkeeper Rachael Kelly did well to deny Bosnia’s Đula Velagić early on before Mackey fired narrowly wide in the 20th minute.

Andrea Trill came on half-way through the second-half as Ireland continued to improve throughout the contest and Alannah McEvoy fired narrowly wide with seven minutes remaining.

Ireland continued to push forward and scored the winner with three minutes remaining as Isibeal Atkinson crossed for the onrushing Mackey who was able to head home and seal an all-important victory.

WU17 & WNT Head Coach Colin Bell said: “I thought we were nervous at the start and we weren’t able to play our best football, but despite that, they kept working hard and made sure they stayed in the game.

“We improved in the second-half and then started to sense like we could go and get all three points. The substitutes did really well when they came on, Andrea Trill started to make things happen up front and we pushed on.

“It was a great cross and Megan was there to head it home. It’s great to start with a win as we’ve got two other big games coming up and this should give the team plenty of confidence going into those games.

“We’ve got a few things we need to work on in training and keep improving. The players showed great character to get the result and we’ll need that in the next two games if we’re going to finish top of the group.”

Team

Republic of Ireland: Kelly (GK), O’Mahony, Fahey, Mackey (C), McEvoy, Atkinson (Whelan 78), Toland, Boyle-Carr (McGovern 80), Slattery, Foley, Masterson (Trill 58).

Subs not used: Maguire (GK), Lambe, Ziu, Fowler, O’Regan, Brady.

Republic of Ireland Squad

Goalkeepers: Rachel Kelly (Shelbourne Ladies), Courtney Maguire (Cabinteely)

Defenders: Leah Brady (Lucan United), Eabha O’Mahony (Lakewood), Roisin McGovern (UCD Waves), Doireann Fahey (Peamount United), Rachel O’Regan (Carrigaline), Harriet Lambe (Yeovil Town)

Midfielders: Tyler Toland (Maiden City), Megan Mackey (Chelsea Ladies), Ciara Fowler (Home Farm), Jessica Ziu, Isibeal Atkinson (Shelbourne Ladies), Aoife Slattery (Ferrybank), Amy Boyle Carr (Sion Swifts)

Forwards: Alannah McEvoy, Emily Whelan (Shelbourne Ladies), Andrea Trill (Cregmore Galway), Zara Foley (Lakewood), Louise Masterson (Peamount United)

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