Republic of Ireland 3 - 1 Hungary | 2021 - UEFA Under-17 Championship | 999947537

UEFA Women's Under-17 Championship Round 1 | Sandnes, Norway
9 Oct 2021 13:00

Republic of Ireland 3 - 1 Hungary

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REPORT | WU17 3-1 Hungary

A winning start is what the Republic of Ireland Women's Under-17s hoped for and that is exactly what they got by overcoming Hungary 3-1 in the Sandnes Ulf Arena, Norway.
WU17 v Hungary.jpeg
9th Oct 2021

This was the first of three UEFA Women's Under-17 European Championship Round 1 games for James Scott's squad and they wasted little time in settling into it.

From the first corner of the game, the ball bounced inside the penalty area and captain Abbie Larkin was quickest to react when she fired in after just three minutes of play.

Any pre-match nerves were instantly eased as Ireland started to control the rhythm of the game with their neat passing, clever movement and discipline in maintaining their team shape.

Hungary attempted to pull a goal back and almost did on 16 minutes when Napsugar Sinka found herself in a fantastic position to score but Ireland goalkeeper Summer Lawless rushed off her line, stood tall and made a vital save.

At the other end of the pitch, Scott's team looked dangerous and got their second goal on 23 minutes. A cross into the penalty area picked out Larkin who instantly laid it off to Jodie Loughrey to curl in a sweet finish on her Under-17 debut.

Ireland played with a maturity in the second period as they didn't force any plays and waited for openings rather than taking risks. It ensured that Hungary were chasing the game throughout.

Then Larkin capped off a fine individual display with her second of the game. A long pass forward landed perfectly for the Shelbourne ace who turned inside her marker before finishing with her left foot.

Now in full flow, Ireland freshened up their ranks and that allowed other players to shine, such as Joy Ralph who rattled the woodwork on 79 minutes.

Hungary did pull one back in the 90th minute following a nice finish from Adelina Molnar, but it came far too late to inspire any sort of comeback. This game belonged to Ireland.

Next up is a clash with Bulgaria on Tuesday afternoon before finishing against Norway on Friday.

Republic of Ireland: Lawless; Thompson, Dossen, Fleming, O'Hanlon (O'Brien 71); Kelly, O'Mahony (Mackin 83); K Loughrey (Russell 71), J Loughrey (Long 77), O'Leary; Larkin (Ralph 77).

Hungary: Pongracz; Tuza, Nemeth, Harmat; Molnar, Sinka, Kern, Nagy (Kagyi 66), Mayer; Vas, Benke (Katona 46). 

Referee: Alina Peşu (Romania).

PREVIEW | WU17 v Hungary

The waiting is almost over as the Republic of Ireland Women's Under-17s prepare to start their quest to reach the UEFA Women's Under-17 European Championship finals tournament.
7th Oct 2021

The first step in that journey begins on Saturday in Sandnes, Norway where James Scott's squad take on Hungary in the first of three Round 1 games (Bulgaria & Norway being their two other opponents).

The top three teams will progress to Round 2, where only the final group winners will advance to the finals tournament in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

If Ireland are to reach their first tournament at this age level since 2017 then they will need to rely on the team unity that has been built up over recent training camps and friendly international matches.

Shelbourne forward Abbie Larkin has been given the responsibility of captain, but the Dubliner insists her style of leadership is about being inclusive and ensuring that everyone feels part of it.

"I found out in the Northern Ireland game, in the camp. It was a surprise but happy to get it," said Larkin of the captaincy.

"Pearl (Slattery, Shelbourne captain) has been helping me. She’s been giving me advice on captaincy and stuff. She’s good to look up to. Just be yourself, don’t change, motivate the girls, don’t let anybody feel left out."

It is a simple approach to adopt but it's one that is serving Scott's squad well with noteworthy performances registered in double-header games against Northern Ireland and Portugal recently.

Larkin is trusting her team-mates to fulfil their roles so that she can focus on her own job and it is that collective approach that gives Ireland a fantastic chance to do well in these qualifying games.

Republic of Ireland Women's Under-17 Squad
Goalkeepers: Claudia Keenan, Summer Lawless (Peamount United)
Defenders: Meabh Russell, Heidi Macken (Cork City), Eve Dossen, Kate Thompson (Galway WFC), Aoibhe Fleming, Tara O'Hanlon (Peamount United)
Midfielders: Ellie O'Brien (Cork City), Keri Loughrey, Jodie Loughrey (Donegal Women's League), Orlaith O'Mahony (Shamrock Rovers), Aoife Kelly (St Patrick's Carlow), Michaela Lawrence (Treaty United)
Forwards: Abbie Larkin, Lia O'Leary, Katie McCarn (Shelbourne), Joy Ralph (DLR Waves), Ellie Long (Síon Swifts), Heidi O'Sullivan (Treaty United)

UEFA Women's Under-17 European Championship Round 1 - Group 1
Saturday, October 9 | Republic of Ireland v Hungary | KO 13:00 | Sandnes, Norway
Tuesday, October 12 | Republic of Ireland v Bulgaria | KO 13:00 | Sandnes, Norway
Friday, October 15 | Republic of Ireland v Norway | KO 16:00 | Sandnes, Norway