The Irish Defence Forces came from behind to earn a draw against the Netherlands in a Women’s International Military Friendly at Station Road, Newbridge, yesterday afternoon.
The Irish side dominated the opening half-hour and, after going close through Shelly Kehoe and Sinead Taylor, they deservedly took the lead when Amy Phelan struck a blistering shot from outside the box that screamed past the Dutch goalkeeper.
Taylor and Turner both had chances to extend Ireland’s lead but the sides went in level at half-time after some hesitancy in the Irish box, during added-on time, allowed de Kok to score.
That equalizer breathed new life into the Dutch and de Kok fired them into the lead six minutes after the break.
However, the Irish girls refused to capitulate and fought their way back into the game with Keogh volleying over and Taylor just failing to finish off a one on one with the Dutch keeper.
A lengthy 15 minute stoppage midway through the half following a serious injury to Netherlands player Van Roo didn’t disrupt the Irish momentum although skipper and goalkeeper Linda McNamara had to be at her very best to keep out a shot from Hommeles.
The equalizer the Irish performance deserved finally came in injury time when Dutch centre-half Kuipers turned the ball into her own net under intense pressure from Taylor and Kelly.
Ireland: McNamara; Kelly, O Sullivan, Hogan; Hannon, Kehoe (Coogan 84), Phelan, Fanning(Byrne 86), Spillane (Kelly 77), Taylor, Turner. Unused Subs: Irwin Nolan, Byrne, Walsh, McConnell, Clancy, Coyle.
Netherlands: Beckers; Donersloot, Kruijsen, Kuipers, Van Lent, Tromp, Van Wezenbeek (Hooren 77), Hommeles, De Kok, Van Roo (Tuns 58), Van der Mark. Unused subs: Dugardein, Der Voort, Flipse, Akker, Tjipjes.
Referee: Eoin O’Shea (Ireland)