Republic of Ireland 3 Cyprus 0
The Republic of Ireland got off to a winning start in Group 1 of their UEFA Women's U19 European Championship qualifiers with a comprehensive win over Cyprus in Serbia this afternoon.
Goals from skipper Denise O'Sullivan, Gemma McGuinness and Rihanna Jarrett delivered a 3-0 victory that could have been a lot bigger given that the Irish created 21 chances during the game and hit the target with ten of them.
"It could have been a lot more than three but we are pleased to have got the three points and now have one foot in the next round," said manager Dave Connell. Ireland's next game will be against Latvia who were beaten 15-0 this afternoon by hosts Serbia.
The Irish dominated this game from start to finish and after Jarrett and O'Sullivan had both gone close in the opening 20 minutes, Ireland finally broke the deadlock in the 21st minute when a cross into the box fell to the feet of the Irish skipper and the Cork women drilled a low shot through a maze of players from ten metres into the corner of the net.
That goal was just what the Irish needed and they continued to lay siege to the Cyprus goal with McGuinness, Emma Hansberry, Jarrett, Claire Shine and O'Sullivan all spurning chances before McGuinness finally got the ball past Ttakka on the stroke of half-time when she stole in at the back post to head home a cross from Kelly Halligan.
Cyprus only created one chance in the whole game and that came after 49 minutes when their captain Charalambous had a shot saved by Jillian Moloney. After that it was all one way traffic once again as Ireland went in search of more goals but despite creating a multitude of chances the only one they took was in 61st minute when Jarrett scored. Lauren Murphy made a great run down the left wing and her deep cross picked out the Wexford striker at the back post and he headed firmly home from close range.
"We created a lot of chances and obviously that was pleasing but the fact we didn't convert a lot of them is disappointing and is something we will have to work on in training. But, we went out to take the three points and we did that by playing well and dominating the game so I have to be happy," said Connell.
Republic of Ireland: Jillian Moloney (GSA 95 Phoenix Red, USA): Shauna Newman (Raheny United), Emily Cahill (Peamount United), Lauren Murphy (Cork Women's FC), Ciara O'Connell (Cork Women's FC), Emma Hansberry (Castlebar Celtic), Denise O'Sullivan (c) (Cork Women's FC), Gemma McGuinness (Greencastle FC), Kelly Halligan (Blackburn Rovers), Claire Shine (Cork Women's FC), Rihanna Jarrett (Wexford Youths). Subs: Katie McCabe (Raheny United) for Halligan (55), Orlagh Nolan (Shamrock Rovers) for Jarrett (72), Chloe Mustaki (Peamount United) for McGuinness (87). Subs not used: Courtney Brosnan (PDA Slammers, USA), Grace Wright (Challenge FC, USA), Carys Johnson (Everton), Sinead O'Farrelly (Raheny United).
Cyprus: Ttakka; Papapavlou, Pitsillou, Antoniou, Panayiotou (Kouppi 21), Pafiti, Charalambous (c), Kleovoulou, Toumpi (Sokratous 76), Violari, Zampa (Georgiou 51). Subs not used: Koutsofta, Kleanthous, Savva, Pelopida.
Referee: Riem Hussein (Germany)
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