Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Bosnia and Herzegovina
VIDEO: Late Mackey header seals Bosnia win
Chelsea midfielder Megan Mackey headed home a late goal with just three minutes remaining to give Ireland all three points in their opening game and send them top of the group.
It was a tight contest at the BH Football Centre as Shelbourne Ladies goalkeeper Rachael Kelly did well to deny Bosnia's Đula Velagić early on before Mackey fired narrowly wide in the 20th minute.
Andrea Trill came on half-way through the second-half as Ireland continued to improve throughout the contest and Alannah McEvoy fired narrowly wide with seven minutes remaining.
Ireland continued to push forward and scored the winner with three minutes remaining as Isibeal Atkinson crossed for the onrushing Mackey who was able to head home and seal an all-important victory.
WU17 & WNT Head Coach Colin Bell said: "I thought we were nervous at the start and we weren't able to play our best football, but despite that, they kept working hard and made sure they stayed in the game.
"We improved in the second-half and then started to sense like we could go and get all three points. The substitutes did really well when they came on, Andrea Trill started to make things happen up front and we pushed on.
"It was a great cross and Megan was there to head it home. It's great to start with a win as we've got two other big games coming up and this should give the team plenty of confidence going into those games.
"We've got a few things we need to work on in training and keep improving. The players showed great character to get the result and we'll need that in the next two games if we're going to finish top of the group."
Republic of Ireland: Kelly (GK), O'Mahony, Fahey, Mackey (C), McEvoy, Atkinson (Whelan 78), Toland, Boyle-Carr (McGovern 80), Slattery, Foley, Masterson (Trill 58).
Subs not used: Maguire (GK), Lambe, Ziu, Fowler, O'Regan, Brady.
Bell selects WU17 squad for Qualifying Round games
Colin Bell has selected a strong Republic of Ireland Women's Under 17 squad for their three UEFA European Championship Qualifying Round games.
Drawn into Group 4 alongside hosts Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania and Greece, the Irish team have high hopes of making it all the way to the finals tournament in Lithuania next summer.
However, they must negotiate the first steps of qualifying when they come up against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday afternoon with three points on the line.
Speaking ahead of the group opener, Head Coach Colin Bell was in a determined mood. "We are looking forward to the challenge. We had the training camp that included games against the Czech Republic and there were plenty of positives to take from it.
"The Czech's were a very physical and aggressive side. That was an eye opener for the squad because it showed them that games at this level will not be easy. When we arrive in Bosnia we only have two training sessions before the first match so it is not a lot of time. We need to work on our game plan and make sure we minimise any mistakes."
Included in the squad is midfielder Tyler Toland, who became one of the youngest ever players to make her senior Ireland debut when the 16-year-old appeared as a substitute in last Tuesday's victory over Northern Ireland.
Several other players have made impressive step ups to the Continental Tyres Women's National League this season, while eight members of the squad travelled to Czech Republic last summer for the UEFA European Championships.
Bell will hope to use the confidence in this squad to their advantage as they target a place in the Elite Round of qualifying and a step closer to the finals.
"It is a bonus that eight of the squad were involved in the Finals tournament last year so they know what it takes to qualify. However, it also means that more than half the squad were not there last year so they will need to adapt to the new level quickly. We are ready for the challenge," Bell added.
Republic of Ireland Squad
Goalkeepers: Rachel Kelly (Shelbourne Ladies), Courtney Maguire (Cabinteely)
Defenders: Leah Brady (Lucan United), Eabha O'Mahony (Lakewood), Roisin McGovern (UCD Waves), Doireann Fahey (Peamount United), Rachel O'Regan (Carrigaline), Harriet Lambe (Yeovil Town)
Midfielders: Tyler Toland (Maiden City), Megan Mackey (Chelsea Ladies), Ciara Fowler (Home Farm), Jessica Ziu, Isibeal Atkinson (Shelbourne Ladies), Aoife Slattery (Ferrybank), Amy Boyle Carr (Sion Swifts)
Forwards: Alannah McEvoy, Emily Whelan (Shelbourne Ladies), Andrea Trill (Cregmore Galway), Zara Foley (Lakewood), Louise Masterson (Peamount United)
Sunday, September 24: Republic of Ireland v Bosnia and Herzegovina, BH Football Centre, KO 15:00
Wednesday, September 27: Republic of Ireland v Romania, BH Football Centre, KO 10:00
Saturday, September 30: Greece v Republic of Ireland, Miadost Stadium, KO 15:00
Republic of Ireland
- 16 Courtney Maguire (G)
- 2 Harriet Lambe
- 4 Roisin McGovern
- 7 Emily Whelan
- 8 Jessica Ziu
- 10 Ciara Fowler
- 14 Andrea Trill
- 18 Rachel O'Regan
- 19 Leah Brady
Bosnia and Herzegovina
- 12 Indira Faković (G)
- 13 Matea Topalović
- 14 Ena Marevac
- 15 Marijana Filipović
- 16 Fadila Mujkić
- 17 Alma Krajnić
- 18 Varvara Šešlija
- 19 Edina Omićević
- 20 Layla Brzović
- Referee Katarzyna Lisiecka-Sęk
- Assistant Referees Katarzyna Wojs
- UEFA Delegate Ginta Pēce
- Assistant Referee Two Sandra Österberg
- Fourth Official Tinna Høj Christensen
- Referee Observer Claudine Brohet
- Republic of Ireland
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Republic of Ireland
Bosnia and Herzegovina
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