Republic of Ireland 2 - 0 Romania
Women’s U17s qualify for Elite Phase
Goals from Niamh Farrelly and Sarah McKevitt saw Dave Connell’s side beat Romania 2-0 in Serbia to leave them on full points from two games in their Qualifying Round mini-tournament. Ireland now play hosts Serbia, who beat Lithuania 4-1, on Wednesday knowing that a draw will see them top the Group 4.
Connell made just one change from the side which defeated Lithuania in Friday’s opener with Farrelly coming in for the injured Saoirse Noonan and it proved to be an inspired choice as the Peamount United midfielder fired Ireland into the lead after 18 minutes with an exceptional goal.
Farrelly showed great anticipation to intercept a kick-out by Romania goalkeeper Georgiana Darle and, after controlling the ball on her chest, she unleashed a 35 yard volley that screamed over the head of the keeper and into the back of the net.
That goal eased the Irish nerves and Eleanor Doyle had a great opportunity in the 32nd minute to added a second when sent clear but she shot straight at the keeper.
Like Friday, this was a game Ireland dominated and they created 14 chances, hit the target seven times and forced nine corners but could only manage one more goal and that came in the 56 minute when Dearbhaile Beirne broke the left, skipped past two players and crossed to the far post where Sarah McKevitt showed great skill in firing the ball first time past the keeper from an acute angle for her second goal in two games.
“It was a good win,” said Connell afterwards. “We dominated the game from start to finish and the only disappointment would be that, like Friday, we didn’t score more goals. But we kept a clean sheet, we won the game and we’ve qualified for the Elite Phase with a game to spare so the girls have done very well in what was their first taste of competitive football at international level.”
Striker Eleanor Doyle is likely to miss the top of the table clash with Serbia on Wednesday after coming off at half-time with a knock but she another good game leading the Irish attack as did her replacement Danielle Murray. The defence, ably marshalled by skipper Jamie Finn and goalkeeper Amanda McQuillan also performed well while midfielder Courtney Higgins and winger McKevitt were others to impress in what was an excellent team performance.
Ireland: Amanda McQuillan; Lauryn O’Callaghan, Jamie Finn, Chloe Moloney, Niamh Prior (Waters 61) ; Niamh Farrelly (Lucy McCartan 52), Courtney Higgins, Evelyn Daly; Sarah McKevitt, Eleanor Doyle (Danielle Murray 41), Dearbhaile Beirne.
Romania: Darle; Boros, Meluta, Peter, Moraru, Bartalis (Petre 41), Blidar (Grecu 41, Rus 56), Popa, Clolacu, Indrei, Biro.
Referee: Liudmyla Petrova (Ukraine).
U17 Women aiming to get job done quickly
Goals from Peake Villa’s Sarah McKevitt and Shelbourne’s Jamie Finn gave Ireland a 2-0 win over Lithuania in Friday’s opening game and Romania’s 1-1 draw with hosts Serbia has opened the door for the Irish to qualify with a game to spare.
Saoirse Noonan from Douglas Hall has been ruled out of tomorrow’s game with a calf injury but Evelyn Daly, who came off with an ankle injury against Lithuania, took a full part in training today and is fit for selection.
Manager Dave Connell was happy to see the sun appear in Serbia today after several days of heavy rain and he’s hoping the pitches will dry out over the next 24 hours.
Connell said: “There’s no doubt that the pitches were a leveller in both games on Friday so hopefully they will dry out and firm up a bit for tomorrow so we can get the ball down and play. We played Romania last year and they look to have improved since then so it is not going to be easy tomorrow. We have to play to our capabilities and inflict our game on them. It is a tough group with three of the four teams having reached the elite phase last year so to be in with a chance of qualifying if we win the second game is a good opportunity and the girls realise that.”
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SQUAD:
Amanda McQuillan (Shelbourne)
Courtney Higgins (Shelbourne)
Dearbhaile Beirne (Shelbourne)
Jamie Finn (Shelbourne)
Nadine Ryan (Shelbourne)
Sophie Watters (Shelbourne)
Fiona Donnelly (Shelbourne)
Eleanor Ryan-Doyle (Peamount United)
Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United)
Lauryn O'Callaghan (Peamount United)
Lucy McCartan (Peamount United)
Danielle Murray (Peamount United)
Niamh Prior (St Joseph's)
Evelyn Daly (Lakewood)
Saoirse Noonan (Douglas Hall)
Sarah McKevitt (Peake Villa)
Chloe Maloney (Connolly Celtic)
Aislinn Meaney (LIfford)
UEFA WU17 Championships Qualifying Round Group 4
Friday, October 17
Republic of Ireland 2 Lithuania 0,
Serbia 1 Romania 1
Sunday, October 19
Republic of Ireland v Romania, Backa, Subotica (SRB), 1pm (Irish time)
Lithuania v Serbia, Gradski, Subotica (SRB), 1pm (Irish time)
Wednesday, October 22
Romania v Lithuania, Gradski, Subotica (SRB), 1pm (Irish time)
Serbia v Republic of Ireland, Backa, Subotica (SRB), 1pm (Irish time)
Republic of Ireland
- 16 Nadine Maher (G)
- 9 Saoirse Noonan
- 12 Lucy Mccartan
- 13 Sophie Watters
- 14 Fiona Donnolly
- 15 Danielle Murray
- 18 Aislinn Meaney
- 12 Kinga Draguș (G)
- 8 Diana Grecu
- 13 Demi Rus
- 15 Valentina Petre
- 16 Maria Popa
- 17 Maria Neacșu
- 18 Ana Foia
- Referee Liudmyla Telbukh
- Assistant Referees Iryna Petrova
- UEFA Delegate Milovan Nikolic
- Assistant Referee Two Ivana Sargic
- Fourth Official Marina Živković
- Referee Observer Milovan Nikolic
- Republic of Ireland
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Republic of Ireland
7Shots on Goal3
Minute by Minute Commentary