Republic of Ireland 0 – 1 Switzerland
Jehona Mehmeti 50’ (Switzerland)
The Republic of Ireland senior women’s team got the tough test they needed in tonight’s friendly against Switzerland at Richmond Park when they lost by the narrowest of margins.
Ireland Head Coach Sue Ronan was pleased with the workout as they step up their preparations for the 2013 UEFA Championship qualifying campaign which kicks off on September 17 in Newport against Wales.
The Irish should have taken the lead as early as the eight minute when Stephanie Roche whipped in a free-kick from the left which captain Ciara Grant connected with but couldn’t keep her header on target.
Another one of the left-winger’s deliveries had the Swiss defence caught off-guard 11 minutes later yet the unmarked Fiona O’Sullivan
misjudged the flight of the ball and allowed the chance go unfinished.
The visitors, set to battle with Germany in their upcoming UEFA Championship qualification group, signalled their intent on 18 minutes
after Selina Zumbuehl seized upon a loose ball on the edge of the box. Fortunately for Ireland goalkeeper Emma Byrne, the striker’s shot
veered a yard wide of the far post.
There was another scare in the Irish defence six minutes later after winger Martina Moser was afforded too much space on the right to
cross. Sandy Maendly looked set to sweep home only for Áine O’Gorman to arrive on cue to avert the danger.
Doncaster Belles attacker O’Gorman almost netted herself at the other end two minutes later. Grace Murray made a darting run from left-back and her low delivery across the goalmouth missed the outstretched leg of O’Gorman by inches.
One of Switzerland’s half-time substitutes, Jehona Mehmeti, provided the clinical moment of the game five minutes after the break when she volleyed home.
A cross from the right into the Irish penalty was only half-cleared and Mehmeti smashed a 25-yard effort past Emma Byrne.
Ireland continued to press for an equaliser and came near to getting it 17 minutes from full-time. Julie-Ann Russell fed O’Sullivan inside
the box and she teed up Niamh Fahey on the edge of the box to unleash a shot that was expertly palmed away to safety by Marisa Brunner in the Swiss goal.
O’Sullivan fashioned one last chance to score in the final minute as she cut in from the right and drove a shot just past the far post.
Rep of Ireland: Byrne (Arsenal); MT McDonnell (Chicago Red Stars), Tracy (Arsenal), Quinn (Peamount United), Murray (Peamount United); Fahey (Arsenal), Grant (Arsenal), Roche (Peamount United); O’Gorman (Doncaster Belles), O’Sullivan (Pitea IF), Smyth (Amazon Grimstad).
Subs: Russell (Peamount United) for Russell (46 mins), Campbell (Raheny United) for Quinn (68 mins), Curtin (Kilmallock) for Grant (69 mins), S. McDonnell (Chicago Red Stars) for Roche (74 mins), Waldron (St. Catherine’s) for Smyth (86 mins)
Switzerland: Brunner; Batschart, Abbe, Graf, Egli; Moser, Waelti, Zumbuehl, Crnogorcevic; Maendly, Meyer.
Subs: Thalmann, M, Keller, Redmund, L. Keller, Schwarz, Mahmeti, Kueffer.
Providing coverage of women’s football from all around the world!