Heather Payne of Republic of Ireland and Amy Rodgers of England during their group B match. Credit: Sportsfile/UEFA.
England beat Republic of Ireland in opening UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship group game
Republic of Ireland Women’s Under 17s suffered defeat in their opening Group B game at the European Championships.
Dave Bell’s side suffered a 5-0 defeat as goals from Poppy Pattinson, Bethany May O’Donnell, Jessica Ngunga, Lauren Hemp and Nicole Douglas sealed a convincing win for a strong England side.
Ireland were made to rue the missed chances they had in the game, none better than 20 seconds into the match when Alannah McEvoy broke free after a defensive error but her shot was well saved by Hannah Hampton.
After Ireland went behind in the ninth minute, they continued to create chances as Isibeal Atkinson hit the cross-bar from 25 yards out, which had Hampton beaten.
Just after the half-hour, Ireland should have drawn level once again as a right-sided corner found Carla McManus free in the area but she could only direct her header a yard wide of the target.
A quick-fire double had England 3-0 up at the break and they pressed home their advantage in the second-half with Hemp’s back-post finish making it 4-0 just after half-time.
Ireland struggled to create chances in the second period as Douglas’ neat finish rounded off the scoring in the 64th minute.
WU17s Head Coach Dave Bell said: “We’re really disappointed. The goals were really poor goals to concede from our perspective and I know we can do better than that.
“We should have gone ahead in the first-half and most definitely should have gone in at half-time level, but we’ve given them to soft goals right at the end of the first-half and the game is out of reach.
“To be fair, England dominated in the second-half but we had plenty of chances in the first-half and matched them up in many areas. We’ve got to look at why we conceded those goals ahead of the Norway game.
“The girls are obviously down at the moment after a defeat like that but they’ve shown an excellent mentality before and they’ve got to pick themselves back up to go again. Just because we lost the first game doesn’t mean we’re out of the competition by any means.”
Republic of Ireland line-up: Turner; Doyle, McGovern, Grier; Payne (Casey 67), Fahey (Warner 74), Toland, Atkinson (Spillane 57); McEvoy, McManus, Mackey.
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