Republic of Ireland claim 4-0 victory.
Northern Ireland fell to a 4-0 defeat after a disappointing display against the Republic of Ireland at Tallaght Stadium on Friday evening.
It was the Republic of Ireland who took the lead after 3 minutes as Leanne Kiernan of West Ham United was played in by Diane Caldwell before lobbing the ball over Jacquline Burns and into the net.
However on 7 minutes Marissa Callaghan could have equalised for Alfie Wylie’s side as she met a Billie Simpson cross at the back-post but she sliced her effort wide when she really should have hit the target.
However it was Colin Bell’s side who doubled their lead shortly after as Katie McCabe who plays her club football at Arsenal drilled the ball into the top corner after Burns had saved the initial shot from Tyler Toland.
The visitors were then very fortunate not to be down to ten as Kerry Montgomery made a late tackle on Toland with her boot raised only receiving a yellow in the process.
Lauren Wade on her return to the Northern Ireland setup could have pulled a goal back on 18 minutes as she linked up with Simone Magill but she could only fire into the gloves of Amanda Budden who was making her international debut.
However Republic of Ireland extended their lead as Denise O’Sullivan played a defence splitting pass into Kiernan before she fired her strike across Burns and into the net.
Northern Ireland were struggling to deal with the pace from the home side and they could have extended their lead on 38 minutes when Kiernan was beaten to the ball by Jessica Foy just in time to stop the West Ham star netting her hat-trick after a cross from Rianna Jarret.
On the stroke of the break it was the home side once again who created yet another chance as Toland’s freekick was well headed away by Julie Nelson as McCabe was lurking to pounce at the back-post.
It was the Republic of Ireland who began the second half on top as Jarret linked up well with Louise Quinn but she was well challenged by the fantastic Foy as it looked like the Arsenal stalwart was going to go one on one with Burns.
The home crowd then thought they had made it four on 52 minutes as McCabe cut inside from the right but her effort hit the side netting when it looked like it had nestled into the bottom corner.
Bell then saw his side win a penalty on 57 minutes as Burns took down Harriet Scott up-stepped McCabe to slot the ball into the net to score her second of the game.
Wylie’s side who had limited chances created a their best opening of the match on 76 minutes as Caragh Milligan tried her luck from range but she dragged her effort wide of the target.
In what was a difficult night for Northern Ireland it was the home side who created another fine opportunity as 16 year old debutant Jessica Ziu sidestepped Megan Bell before playing the ball into Amber Barret but she was denied by a fantastic tackle from Simpson.
On 82 minutes it was nearly five as the sublime Kiernan was played through on goal but her effort hit the inside of the post and bounced into the hands of Burns.
As the game entered its final minute the home side could have added their fifth as Niamh Fahey picked out McCabe but her effort was well blocked by Laura Rafferty.
Republic of Ireland
Hi my names Josh Bunting I study Sports Journalism at UCFB Etihad Campus , Reporter at Sheffield Wednesday football club.