Republic of Ireland 2 - 1 Norway | 2021 - UEFA Under-17 Championship | 999947539

UEFA Women's Under-17 Championship Round 1 | Sandnes, Norway
15 Oct 2021 16:00

Republic of Ireland 2 - 1 Norway

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REPORT | WU17 2-1 Norway

Hopes were high for the Republic of Ireland Women's Under-17s going into Round 1 of qualifying but they exceeded expectations by winning all three games - finishing up with a 2-1 victory over Norway.
15th Oct 2021

The target is to reach the UEFA Women's Under-17 European Championships next summer in Bosnia & Herzegovina and that remains a very realistic possibility after topping Group 1 in League A.

Head Coach James Scott was impressed with his team's opening two performances, which saw them beat Hungary 3-1 and overcome Bulgaria 3-0, but they improved again in their final game against hosts Norway in Sandnes.

There was a maturity to Ireland's play as they knew that they needed to raise their level against a quality opponent - which was proved on the stats charts that saw them hit the target seven times from their 15 attempts on goal.

Goalkeeper Summer Lawless was on full alert throughout and made sure that the Girls in Green had a fighting chance by producing some notable saves. But Ireland were not out-played here, in fact they dominated the play in large periods.

One of their strengths is reacting quickly to loose balls and transitioning from defence to attack. This was evident in their first goal as they pushed high and managed to get the ball to Lia O'Leary on the edge of the penalty area, she dragged the ball back with one foot and finished with the other.

That goal arrived just before interval and gave Ireland huge confidence for the second period. But Norway, as expected, came fighting back and eventually levelled matters on 83 minutes through substitute Linneah Rene Henriquez Rasmussen.

Anything they could do, Ireland could do better. DLR Waves attacker Joy Ralph had only been on the pitch three minutes when she reacted quickest to a rebounded shot and smashed the ball into the back of the net.

There was no time for a comeback, this game - and Round 1 as a whole - belonged to Ireland. They will look to keep this journey going into next year.

Republic of Ireland: Lawless; Russell, Fleming, Mackin, O'Hanlon; O'Mahony, Kelly (J Loughrey 71); K Loughrey (Ralph 87), Lawrence, O'Leary; Larkin.

Norway: Bakke; Ellingsen, Svendsen, Karlsen, Lervik; Gaupset, Taraldsen, Nilsen; Folland (Rasmussen 69), Sesay (Skage 86), Melgard.

Referee: Lizzy Van Der Helm (Netherlands).