Republic of Ireland 0 - 1 Norway
REPORT: Late header heart-break in Norway defeat
A late header from Norway captain Rikke Bogetveit Nygard sealed a narrow defeat as Ireland wasted a number of good chances during the second-half at the Plzen City Stadium.
The defeat leaves Ireland bottom of the group after defeats against England and Norway, with Ireland set to travel home after their final group game against Netherlands on Monday, May 8th.
However, it could have been a different story if Ireland took their chances at the beginning of the second half. After a cagey first-half, Ireland dominated much of the second-half and should have took the lead through the brilliant Alannah McEvoy.
Returning captain Tiegan Ruddy found the pacey McEvoy with a 50-yard ball and after using her pace to get down the left side of the defence, McEvoy's left-footed goal-bound effort was blocked.
The chances kept coming as McEvoy won the ball on the right to cross for Mackey at the far post but her tame effort was well saved in the 54th minute.
With 20 minutes remaining, Ireland wasted another golden opportunity. This time, a left-sided corner was floated in and Ruddy header's was dropped by the keeper and Megan Mackey couldn't follow up.
Norway became stronger in the final stages of the game and were rewarded with a late winner as Nygard's header keeps Norway's hopes of qualification alive.
WU17s Head Coach Dave Bell said: "It was tough to see us lose the game. We had a game-plan and I thought we stuck to the game-plan really well.
"We said if we draw the game, that's not the end of the world as we'd still be in the melting pot for the final game against Netherlands but it wasn't to be.
"Unfortunately, the goal came a few minutes from the end and it puts us out of the tournament. I can only give the players great praise though, they've done everything of what we've asked of them and they should be proud of themselves."
Republic of Ireland WU17s team v Norway: 1. Erica Turner (GK), 5. Sadhbh Doyle, 8. Tiegan Ruddy, 3. Lauryn Grier, 7. Aisling Spillane (2. Eabha O'Mahony 37 (15. Carla McManus 69)), 6. Tyler Toland, 12. Doireann Fahey (14. Orla Casey 62), 10. Megan Mackey, 18. Jessica Ziu, 9. Alannah McEvoy, 11. Heather Payne.
WU17s: Ruddy ready to inspire bounce back
Dave Bell's group face Norway tomorrow in their second Group B match of the UEFA Women's Under-17s European Championships at the Doosan Arena, Plzen with kick-off at 11am (10am GMT).
Ireland suffered a 5-0 defeat in their opening group game against a strong England side, as Ireland wasted a number of opportunies throughout the first-half in their opening match.
Ruddy, who missed the defeat through suspension, is ready and raring to go to help Ireland put their qualification hopes back on track with an all-important win.
The WU17s captain said: "It's a huge game for us and we know we've got to get a result tomorrow which I think will help us focus ahead of the game.
"It is always easier to know what you've got to do ahead of a match and training has been really good so I'm really confident of getting the result we need tomorrow.
"We've seen Norway in the clips and they're a good side but we know if we can play to our very best, we can beat them and that has to be the mentality going into the match."
Norway also lost their opening Group B match, a 3-1 defeat to the Netherlands so both sides know that they need a result to keep their qualification hopes alive.
Having worked with the medical staff to overcome a hamstring problem, Ruddy is determined to make the most of the European Championships experience.
She added: "It was great to be back in training as I've been out of it for a couple of weeks but I've really enjoyed the past couple of days.
"The squad have really responded in the right way in training as it was difficult to watch the England game from the stands. We should have taken our chances in the first-half of the half so we know that 5-0 isn't showing what we can really do.
"We're looking forward to putting that right tomorrow and if we can get a win, it puts us in a good position to qualify going into the final group game."
Republic of Ireland
- 12 Kristin Rage (G)
- 3 Oda Eide Arnesen
- 5 Ine Agnethe Aarskog
- 7 Ylinn Tennebø
- 10 Elin Åhgren Sørum
- 14 Emilie Bølviken
- 15 Kristin Holmen
- Referee Meliz Özçiğdem
- Assistant Referees Ieva Ramanauskiene
- UEFA Delegate Sviatlana Hrynkevich
- Assistant Referee Two Aleksandra Ulanowska
- Fourth Official Lucie Šulcová
- Referee Observer Marina Mamaeva
- Republic of Ireland
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Republic of Ireland
4Shots on Goal8
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