Win for Ireland WNT in front record-breaking crowd
The Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team edged a five-goal thriller 3-2 in front of a record-breaking crowd at Tallaght Stadium on Tuesday night.
An attendance of 5,328 (the largest for a women’s international game in Ireland) saw Vera Pauw’s side seal a win in their UEFA EURO 2021 Qualifier to give them two wins out of two Group I.
In an eventful game it was Ireland who created the better opportunities and they could have taken an early lead. A lofted ball into the box found Rianna Jarrett in space but unfortunately the striker saw her half volley sail over the bar.
Still Ireland pushed and the home side came close to breaking the deadlock on 13 minutes. Diane Caldwell rose to meet a header that fell to Louise Quinn but the defender couldn’t convert past Kateryna Samson in the Ukraine goal.
Eventually Ireland’s pressure told and they opened the scoring on 25 minutes. Jarrett broke down the left and patiently waited for Irish support. Captain Katie McCabe arrived late in the box to fire home left footed.
And on 29 minutes it was 2-0. McCabe turned supplier and Jarrett turned goal scorer as she rose highest to head home from a corner for her first goal for Ireland.
This sparked the visitors into life and Ukraine were gifted a way back into the game. Marie Hourihan failed to hold onto a shot and lyubov Shmatko turned in the rebounded ball.
And on 42 minutes it was 2-2. Olha Ovdiychuk was able to take advantage of hesitancy in the Irish backline to give Ukraine a foothold in the game.
Ireland came out the blocks fastest in the second half. Quinn forced a great save from Samson who tipped the effort around the post for a corner.
But on 53 minutes Ireland restored their lead. Player of the match Jarrett, who caused problems all night to the Ukrainian back line, broke down the left. Her cut back was cleared but only to Denise O’Sullivan and with the defence desperate to clear Natiya Pantsulaya turned the ball into her own net.
Ukraine grew back into the math and had a shout for a penalty turned away when Olha Ovdiychuk found herself with space but a last ditch Keeva Kennan tackle prevented a third Ukrainian goal.
Substitute Nadia Kunina almost levelled for Ukraine in injury time when she cut in on her left and forced Hourihan to produce a stunning one handed save that looked goalbound.
But the Girls in Green held out to give Pauw a win in her first game as Head Coach.
Republic of Ireland:
Hourihan; Campbell, Quinn, Caldwell, Keenan; Connolly, Fahey, O’Sullivan; Payne (Kiernan 70), Jarrett, McCabe.
Samson; Basanska, Pantsulaya Shmatko, Apanaschenko; Khimich; Andrukhiv, Andrushchak (Kunina 84), Kitayeva, Ovdiychuk; Kalinina (Romanenko, 68)
Claudine Brohet (BEL)
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