Double win over Iceland for Republic of Ireland Women’s U17s
Republic of Ireland 1 Iceland 0
Substitute Dearbhaile Beirne blasted home the only goal of the game to give the Republic of Ireland Women’s U17 team a second successive victory over Iceland at the AUL Complex.
The win ensures that Dave Connell’s squad will head to next month’s UEFA European Championship Elite Phase in Cork with a spring in their step after two morale boosting back to back wins over the team that will be hosting this summer’s finals.
”It was nice to win both games,” said Connell. “We didn’t play well in the first half today but we made a few substitutions in the second half which livened things up and one of them, Dearbhaile Beirne, got a really good goal. It was good to get the squad together for these two matches and the focus now switches to our first game in the Elite Phase against England on April 9. That’s all that matters now!”
Connell made three changes to the side which won Saturday’s encounter 2-1 with Nadine Ryan taking over from Amanda McQuillan between the posts, Lauryn O’Callaghan replacing Lucy McCarton at right back and Niamh Prior coming in at left back for Roma McLaughlin.
Although Iceland enjoyed the bulk of the possession the first half, they didn’t force Ryan to make a save and it was Ireland who had the better scoring chances with Prior firing into the side-netting after Valgeirsdottir had parried a Courtney Higgins free-kick and Aislinn Meany going close with a first time lob from the edge of the box.
The game opened up in the second half and Palsdottir and Ingadottir both went close before Ryan pulled off a great save to deny Albertsdottir after the Icelandic striker had been put through.
The introduction of Dearbhaile Beirne and Jessica Nolan certainly had the desired effect with Nolan forcing the Valgeirsdottir into a great save and Beirne seeing her attempted from the rebound bravely blocked.
Ireland took the lead on 70 minutes when Eleanor Ryan Doyle flicked the ball into the path of Beirne and the Leitrim girl struck a low first time drive past the keeper for what proved to be the only goal of the game, although Nolan and the excellent Saoirse Noonan both went close to adding a second.
Ireland now head to the UEFA European Women’s U17 Championship Elite Phase where they will face England, Hungary and Netherlands in Cork from April 9 to 14.
Republic of Ireland: Nadine Ryan (GK); Lauryn O’Callaghan, Courtney Higgins, Jamie Finn (C),Niamh Prior, Evelyn Daly, Sarah McKevitt, Eleanor Ryan Doyle, Saoirse Noonan, Aislinn Meaney, Chloe Maloney. Subs Used: Dearbhaile Beirne for Meaney (55), Jessica Nolan for McKevitt (55), Danielle Murray for Ryan Doyle (73), Sophie Watters for Prior (80). Unused Subs: Louise Creaven (GK), Fiona Donnelly, Zoe McGlynn.
Iceland: Ingibjorg Valgeirsdotiir (GK); Katrin M Kristinsdotti, Selma S Magnusdottir, Eyvor H Jonsdottir, Anna R Petursdottir, Jasmine E Ingadottir, Aglam Albertsdottir, Andrea M Palsdottir (C), Andrea Celeste Diaz, Kristin Disarnadottir, Stefania A Tryggvadottir. Subs Used: Kristin T H Birgisdottir for Disarnadottir (64), Elena Brynjarsdottir for Celeste Diaz (73), Melkorka K Petursdottir for Tryggvadottir (73), Harpa Johannsdottir (GK) for Valgeirsdotiir (75). Unused Subs: Ingibjorg R Oladottir, Isold K Runarsdottir, Asdis K Halldorsdottir, Harpa Johannsdottir
Referee: Matthew Farrell (Republic of Ireland).
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