Spain 3-0 Republic of Ireland
Group leaders Spain triumph over Ireland in UEFA Women’s Under-19 Elite Round
Republic of Ireland Women’s Under-19 side suffered defeat to group leaders Spain at Turner’s Cross.
The impressive Spain came into the game on the back of a 5-0 win over Turkey in their first UEFA Women’s Under-19 Elite Round qualifying match, and their confidence showed.
The visitors dominated the contest as Dave Connell’s side fought a brilliant defensive battle throughout much of the first 45 minutes. Ireland were dealt a blow after Shelbourne defender Tiegan Ruddy was forced off injured in the 13th minute and went behind through Marquez Baena.
Baena was able to tuck home a free-kick from close range four minutes from the break to give Spain a narrow advantage going into the second-half.
Ireland continued to battle bravely against a talented Spain side but conceded a second Baena goal 20 minutes from time. Bautista Piqueras added a third at Turner’s Cross in the 77th minute to complete the scoring with Ireland set to play Turkey in their final group game on Sunday.
Republic of Ireland WU19 Head Coach Dave Connell said: “We were beaten by the better team on the night, we’ve no complaints but I would have to say that I’m very proud of the girls tonight, led brilliantly again by Niamh Farrelly who’s been sensational, Sadhbh Doyle beside her, had an excellent game as well.
“It’s difficult to take. We battled hard, we certainly went to the well and gave everything that we could, so I’m very proud of them, obviously disappointed with the result but they are a top nation.
“We had four U17s on the pitch tonight and a couple of U18 players so there is a good squad there to take all that experience into but again, no complaints, we were certainly beaten by the better team.”
Republic of Ireland: Naoisha McAloon (GK), Lynn Craven, Niamh Farrelly (C), Sadhbh Doyle, Alex Kavanagh, Tiegan Ruddy (Sinead Donovan 13), Saoirse Noonan, Megan Mackey, Lucia Lobato, Kate Mooney (Alannah McEvoy 67), Orla Casey (Lauryn O’Callaghan 78).
Referee: Elvira Nurmustafina (KAZ)
2017/18 UEFA Women’s Under-19 European Championships Elite Round Results/Fixtures
April 2: Republic of Ireland 1-1 Austria, Turners Cross, 15:00
April 5: Spain 3-0 Republic of Ireland, Turners Cross, 19:00
April 8: Turkey v Republic of Ireland, Turners Cross, 14:00
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