Dave Connell

Noonan strikes in Friendly loss

Republic of Ireland Women’s Under-19s suffered a 3-1 friendly defeat to Portugal

Republic of Ireland Women’s Under-19s suffered a 3-1 friendly defeat to Portugal in their opening game of this week’s mini-tournament.

The WU19s are currently in Portugal where they will play three games in a week to help prepare for the UEFA European Championship Elite Round in Ireland in April 2018.

Ireland started the tournament against the host nation and despite a bright start with a number of chances created, Portugal found themselves 2-0 up at the break.

Cork City WFC striker Saoirse Noonan pulled one back for Ireland early in the second half after she beat the opposition goalkeeper to Tiegan Ruddy’s free-kick to finish.

Ireland continued to press for the equaliser but the hosts added a third to seal the victory late on as Shelbourne Ladies defender Ruddy was shown a red card for two bookable offences which will rule her out of the game against England on Friday.

Despite the defeat, Head Coach Dave Connell (pictured above) was impressed by the quality of the young players in the squad and hopes that his side can improve in their next two games.

Connell said: “We’re disappointed. We started brightly but then found ourselves 2-0 down due to two defensive errors.

“We had a few chances early doors to go in front but we couldn’t take them and we were made to pay at the other end. We were chasing the game then but we got ourselves back into it and again, we’ve had a number of chances but couldn’t take them.

“It’s been good for us as we’ve been able to get the whole squad on the pitch and give everyone a run out. Alannah McEvoy came on for the second half and was very good, and some of the other young players were very bright.

“We’ve got to do a lot better against England on Friday. We’re out of season domestically and Portugal are in the middle of theirs but this is why it is great preparation. We’re fully focused on preparing for that Elite Round and we’ve got another two games this week, and I’m sure we’ll do a lot better.”

Republic of Ireland line-up:

Turner (McAloon 46); Craven, Farrelly, O’Callaghan (Doyle 46), Warner (Mackey 46), Kavanagh (Ruddy 46), Noonan (Trill 78), Fahey (Burdis 73), Reddy (Casey 46), Burke (McGovern 46), Mooney (McEvoy 46).

Result

Wednesday, January 17: Portugal 3-1 Republic of Ireland, Stadium Vila Real de Santo Antonio

Fixtures

Friday, January 19: England v Republic of Ireland, Stadium Vila Real de Santo Antonio, 6pm
Sunday, January 21: Portugal v Republic of Ireland, Stadium Vila Real de Santo Antonio, 3pm

Follow all the Women’s Under 19’s International Tournament Algarve 2018 Fixtures and results.

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