Republic of Ireland 0 - 0 Netherlands | 2015 - Womens Under 17 | 999941643

UEFA Women's Under-17 Championship Elite round - Group 2 | Turner's Cross, Cork
11 Apr 2015 15:00

Republic of Ireland 0 - 0 Netherlands

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Dutch draw leaves WU17s in the hunt

Republic of Ireland 0 Netherlands 0
Sarah McKevitt 2.jpg
11th Apr 2015



April 11, 2015

The Republic of Ireland Women’s Under 17 team are still in the hunt for a place at this summer’s UEFA European Championships Finals in Iceland after holding Netherlands to a scoreless draw at Turner’s Cross.

Dave Connell’s side now need to beat Hungary on Tuesday to finish on seven points and will top the group if the Netherlands fail to beat England. If both the Irish and Dutch win on Tuesday then the destination of the automatic place will come down to goal difference with Netherlands currently on plus four after their 5-1 win over Hungary while Ireland are on plus 2 after their 2-0 win over the English.

Ireland made just one enforced change from the side which beat England on Thursday night as Lakewood midfielder Evelyn Daly was ruled out with a knee injury and she was replaced by Niamh Prior who slotted in at left back with Courtney Higgins moving into midfield alongside Roma McLaughlin and Saoirse Noonan.

From the outset it was evident the Irish were brimming with confidence and, with the magnificent McLaughlin pulling the strings in midfield, they began brightly and took the game to the Dutch from the very beginning. Chances were scarce until the 21th minute when Saoirse Noonan blasted over after a corner fell to her on the edge of the box.  Then Eleanor Ryan Doyle weaved her way through from the right but was denied by a superb one-handed save from Dutch keeper Lize Kop.

The Dutch then went close at the other end through Kalma, twice, van der Vorst and Van der Plas as the sides went in level at half-time. The start of the second half saw the Dutch come more into the game but they struggled to find a way through the Irish back four in which central defenders Jamie Finn and Chloe Maloney were outstanding and, even when they did, they found goalkeeper Amanda McQuillan was always in the right place. They had one great chance when Kalma found herself one-on-one with the Raheny United goalkeeper but she shot weakly at McQuillan.  

The Dutch were reduced to ten players when captain Engelina van der Plas was sent off after picking up a second yellow card in the 68th minute, six minutes after her first, and Ireland really tried to make their numerical advantage count over the final 12 minutes of the 80 minute game.

A great turn and shot by Saoirse Noonan from the edge of the box was saved by Kop at full stretch and she then produced a spectacular finger-tip save to turn over a dipping shot from McLaughlin as Ireland piled on the pressure. In injury time, Sarah McKevitt’s inswinging corner kick evaded everybody as it crossed the six-yard box and curled agonisingly past the far post when the slightest touch would have turned it home.

“That was another tremendous performance by the girls. The Netherlands are another great football nation and I thought we outplayed them, in particular in the second half. Again, the spirit of this team was there for everybody to see and we have that in abundance. We try to get the best out of them and they really want to deliver and they really want to get to Iceland. We really feel we can finish off the job on Tuesday,” said Connell.

Republic of Ireland: Amanda McQuillan; Lauryn O’Callaghan, Jamie Finn (C), Chloe Maloney, Niamh Prior; Saoirse Noonan, Roma McLaughlin, Courtney Higgins; Aislinn Meaney, Eleanor Ryan Doyle, Sarah McKevitt. Subs; Dearbhaile Beirne for Meaney (60). Lucy McCarton for Ryan Doyle (80 +1).

Netherlands: Kop, de Sanders, Ypema, Nouwen, van de Heuwel (ten Westeneind 80 +2), van der Plas (C), Kalma, de Beer (Noordam 17), Altelaar, van Velzen (Broesterhuizen 78).

Referee: Kulmala Ifeoma (Finland)

Ireland WU17s face Dutch in key UEFA encounter

AFTER their sensational victory over England in their opening game of the UEFA WU17 Championships Elite Qualifying Phase on Thursday evening, the Republic of Ireland could take a massive step closer to qualifying for the finals against the Netherlands tomorrow afternoon.
10th Apr 2015

Dave Connell’s talented Irish youngsters showed their class in a 2-0 victory over the English but will be well aware that the Dutch were on fire in a 5-1 win over Hungary earlier the same day.

Victory for either side at Turner’s Cross (3.00pm) would be a giant leap towards qualifying for the finals in Iceland this summer.

Connell was buoyant after goals from Eleanor Ryan-Doyle and Saoirse Noonan secured the three points against England but was confident his side had the quality to surprise their visitors.

“I thought we deserved the victory. England played well and had a lot of possession and a lot of shots but we restricted them to long range efforts. We worked tremendously hard,” he said.

“It was a brilliant all-round performance from the girls. We worked hard and knew exactly what way England would play. We prepared for that for the last two weeks and it paid off with the win.

“We scored two excellent goals. It’s always nice winning games and always nice beating England but we did it in style I thought.

“Eleanor’s goal was a great goal after beating two players and an excellent finish. Soairse Noonan’s goal was also a fantastic effort. It probably took a deflection but she was also unlucky not to score with her header too. She’s still U17 again next year which is astounding. She showed an awful lot of maturity.

“People can say what they want but we know we’re a good side and we’ve prepared the girls well. The Dutch are another great side and we saw them against Hungary but we’ll be prepared for them.”

Midfielder Evelyn Daly suffered a knee injury and has gone for an MRI so Ireland will wait on that before naming their side.

"We looked at their game and the Dutch are a good side. They’ve a lot of good players with plenty of good movement," said Connell.

"It'll be more of the same from us. It'll be a case of working hard together to be difficult to play through. The girls understand what is expected of them.

"We know the way the Netherlands like to play. We have to work hard to counteract their attack and then when we're on the ball not to give it away cheaply.

"We're not playing for anything other than to try and win the game. If we can do that it would look like we'll be in a very good position to go through. The girls are very relaxed and determined to go through. We know the Dutch are physically strong and dangerous from set-pieces but we're looking for a similar challenge to what we produced on Thursday."


UEFA Women's U17 Championships Elite round Group 2

Thursday, April 9

Netherlands 5-1 Hungary, St Colman's Park, Cobh

England 0-2 Republic of Ireland, Turner's Cross, Cork

Saturday, April 11

Republic of Ireland v Netherlands, Turner's Cross, Cork (3.00pm)

England v Hungary, St Colman's Park, Cobh (6.00pm)

Tuesday, April 14

Netherlands v England, St Colman's Park, Cobh (12.00pm)

Hungary v Republic of Ireland, Turner's Cross, Cork (12.00pm)