Match report: Conditions play part as Republic of Ireland held by Iceland in Tallaght
Republic of Ireland kept their fifth clean sheet in six games as they were held by Iceland at Tallaght Stadium.
In terrible conditions, Ireland had the better of the chances against Iceland, who are travelling to the European Championships next month, but couldn’t find the break-through.
Both teams had to adjust their touch on the Tallaght Stadium pitch in the early stages due to the deluge overhead both pre-game and during the 90 minutes of play.
It was Ireland who adjusted better as the returning Megan Campbell, after a 15-month absence with a broken foot, provided most of Ireland’s threat from her destructive long-throws. On two occasions in the first 10 minutes, Ireland failed to capitalise as both Louise Quinn and Megan Connolly mis-timed their leaps.
The best chance of the first 45 minutes came in the 21st minute as Campbell turned from provider to threat. Aine O’Gorman’s corner found Campbell and after placing her header into the slippy surface, the keeper saved well.
Iceland’s first goal-scoring chance of the game came after the break and were brilliantly denied by Marie Hourihan. A Ingibjorg Sigurdardottir corner broke for Katrin Asbjornsdottir at the back-post who flicked the ball towards the top corner but she was brilliantly denied by Manchester City goalkeeper Hourihan in the 59th minute.
Five minutes later, Ireland should have gone ahead. Again, another O’Gorman corner caused havoc in the six-yard area as the Icelandic keeper failed to collect and Diane Caldwell’s low header towards goal was cleared off the line.
Republic of Ireland Head Coach Colin Bell said: “I’m delighted with my players this evening. They showed tremendous spirit and levels of efforts to get the result tonight.
“The conditions were terrible so we couldn’t play what we wanted to play but the players did really well to adjust to the situation. In fact, in the entire 90 minutes, they only had one chance and that was in the final minute of the game.
“It was great to have Niamh Fahey and Megan Campbell on the pitch this evening. Two quality players and two positive personalities to add to the squad, and there definitely is plenty of competition for places.”
Republic of Ireland: Byrne (GK) (C) (Hourihan ’46), Perry, Scott, Quinn, Duggan, Caldwell, O’Gorman, Connolly (Fahey 72), O’Sullivan, Campbell (O’Riordan 80), McCabe.
Subs not used: Budden (GK), McLaughlin, Beirne, Kavanagh, Payne.
Iceland: Gunnarsdottir (GK) (Sigurdardottir ’46), Atladottir (Sigurdardottir ’46), Viggosdottir, Jonsdottir, Sigurdardottir, Gunnarsdottir (C), Gardarsdottir (Honnudottir 65), Gisladottir, Asbjornsdottir (Thorvaldsdottir 79), Albertsdottir, Fridriksdottir (Gudmundsdottir 67).
Subs not used: Thrainsdottir (GK), Pedersen, Vidarsdottir, Brynjarsdottir, Hauksdottir, Kristjansdottir.
Referee: Paula Brady (IRL)