Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Italy | 2023 - UEFA Women's Under 17 Championship | 999948485

UEFA Women's Under-17 Championship
26 Mar 2023 12:00

Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Italy

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REPORT | WU17 1-0 Italy

A long-range free-kick from Jess Fitzgerald proved to be the difference as Ireland Women's Under-17s overcame Italy 1-0 in their UEFA European WU17 Championship Round 2 qualifier.
26th Mar 2023

The afternoon sun beat down in southern France as James Scott's team set about building on their opening Group A5 win over Kosovo. They didn't take long to seize control of the game.

Captain Jodie Loughrey and midfielder Freya Healy went close with speculative efforts inside the first 15 minutes as Ireland's attacking play put them in good positions high up the pitch.

On 25 minutes, the breakthrough arrived when Peamount United ace Fitzgerald scored for the second game running. The free-kick, from around 30 yards out, was meant as a delivery but Italy goalkeeper Emma Mustafic missed an attempted punch and the ball sailed into the back of the net.

Ireland stayed in control of the game for the remainder of the first half and then stood strong at the beginning of the second period when the inevitable push came from the Italians.

This was a mature performance from the Girls in Green and they could have added to their lead late on with Loughrey going close again along with substitutes Fiana Bradley and Rebecca Devereux.

The result means that Ireland go into Wednesday's clash with France knowing that a positive result could be enough to qualify for the finals tournament in Estonia.

Ireland: Katie Keane; Aoife Turner, Aoibhe Fleming, Aoife Kelly, Kiera Sena; Jess Fitzgerald, Ellen Dolan; Ruby Gallagher (Katie Lawlee 46), Freya Healy (Fiana Bradley 61), Jodie Loughrey; Joy Ralph (Rebecca Devereux 61).

Italy: Emma Mustafic; Azzura Gallo (Martina Viesti 76), Martina Cocino, Emma Girotto (Rosanna Ventriglia 76), Marta Zamboni, Elena Pizzuti (Amaranta Agazzi 81), Leda Gemmi, Arianna Pieri, Manuela Sciabica, Sofia Testa (Valentina Donolato 90), Beatrice Calegari.

Referee: Deborah Anex (Switzerland).

2023 UEFA Women’s Under-17 Championship – Round 2 Qualifiers
March 23 | Ireland 3-0 Kosovo
March 26 | Ireland 1-0 Italy
March 29 | France v Ireland, Tarnos, France, KO 14:00