Ireland WU19: Connell's side lose to Netherlands in final qualifier

Ireland WU19: Connell’s side lose to Netherlands in final qualifier but still progress to the Elite Round

An 84th-minute goal from Tiegan Ruddy was the highlight for the Republic of Ireland Women’s Under 19s as they fell to defeat to the Netherlands in Assen, but still progress to the Elite Round of qualifying.

Wins over Estonia and Latvia guaranteed Dave Connell’s team a spot in the next stage of qualifying before the disappointing loss on Tuesday evening to the mini tournament hosts.

Against a strong Dutch side, Ireland were holding their own, but a hat-trick in the space of four first-half minutes from Heerenveen’s Fenna Kalma decided the result before half-time.

The Dutch took the lead in the 24th-minute through Victoria Pelova. 11-minutes later, Noah Waterham doubled their lead. The CTO Amsterdam defender’s goal was the first of four conceded in the final 10-minutes of the half.

5-0 down at half-time, the side conceded three goals in the second half. Kerstin Kasparij scored soon after the break, before substitute Joelle Smits scored twice in two-minutes, including one from the penalty spot to give the hosts an 8-0 lead, before Ruddy scored in the final ten minutes.

Republic of Ireland WU19s manager Dave Connell said: “We weren’t expecting the scoreline before the game, but we started off very brightly and were probably the better team in the first 15-minutes. Before they scored we created two very good chances and could have been in front. We didn’t take them and made some elementary mistakes.

“We were up against it tonight. The Netherlands are going to be there or thereabouts at the end of the competition. It was a difficult night, but one we hope we can learn from.

“We made it to the Elite Round. That was our objective. This was a learning curve for a lot of the players.”

Ireland finish in second place in Group 6 of the Qualifying Round. The draw for the Elite Round takes place in Switzerland next month, with the games being played early next year.

Netherlands: Daphne Van Domselaar; Noah Waterham, Danique Ypema, Caitlin Dijkstra, Jamie Altelaar (Willienne Ter Beek 46); Kerstin Capsarij, Victoria Pelova, Marisa Olislagers (Eva Van Deursen 75); Bente Jansen, Fenna Kalma (Joelle Smits 53), Ashleigh Weerden.

Republic of Ireland: Naoisha McAloon; Lauryn O’Callaghan (Lynn Craven 46), Niamh Farrelly, Sadhbh Doyle, Danielle Burke; Orla Casey (Jade Reddy 75), Tiegan Ruddy, Chloe Singleton; Lauren Kelly, Saorise Noonan, Kate Mooney (Phoebe Warner 46).

Referee: Eleni Antoniou (Greece).

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