Slovakia 0 - 1 Republic of Ireland | 2015 - FIFA Womens World Cup | 2012102

FIFA Women's World CupQualifying Round | National Training Centre, Senec
13 September 2014 - 15:30 (local time)

Slovakia 0 - 1 Republic of Ireland

Full-time Roche(90+ 2)
Slovakia Republic of Ireland

Roche hits late winner in Slovakia

SLOVAKIA 0 REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 1 - An injury time goal from substitute Stephanie Roche gave the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team a well-deserved victory over Slovakia in their penultimate World Cup qualifier this afternoon in Senec.
Stephanie Roche.jpg
13th Sep 2014

On a rain sodden pitch, the Irish girls created 20 chances during the game and hit the crossbar three times through Julie Ann Russell twice and Denise O’Sullivan, before Roche was slipped through in the second minute of injury time and she drilled a low shot to the far corner.

This win, coupled with Germany’s 4-1 victory over Russia, means that Ireland go into Wednesday’s final qualifier away to the Germans with a chance of taking second place in Group 1. The side have also extended their unbeaten run to four games and have now gone 407 minutes without conceding a goal.

Sue Ronan’s starting XI showed three changes from the side which beat Slovenia 2-0 in Tallaght last month with Shannon Smyth, Siobhan Killeen and Ruesha Littlejohn coming in for Diane Caldwell, Stephanie Roche and Fiona O’Sullivan.

Ireland started strongly and after five minutes Julie-Ann Russell saw her long range shot come off the crossbar with the keeper well beaten. Five minutes later Siobhan Killen sent Ruesha Littlejohn clear but her shot was turned around the post by Maria Korenciova.

Then, on 18 minutes, Denise O’Sullivan had a dipping shot from the edge of the box which bounced off the top off the bar.

However, Ireland had a let off on 27 minutes when Dana Feckova beat the Irish offside trap and rounded the advancing Emma Byrne only for Louise Quinn to get back and clear her goalbound shot off the line. It was the beginning of a jittery period for the Irish as Monika Matysova smashed a shot wide from the corner and a few minutes later Feckova again went close.

Having survived that jittery spell, Ireland finished the half strongly with Niamh Fahey heading wide from an Áine O’Gorman free-kick.

Stephanie Roche was introduced for Siobhan Killeen at half-time and Ireland went on to totally dominate the second half and create numerous chances.

Denise O’Sullivan hooked the ball over the goalkeeper after 50 minutes but it just fell the wrong side of the crossbar and 10 minutes later she saw her shot saved by keeper when she latched onto a rebound as Julie-Ann Russell’s free-kick came off the crossbar.

Stephanie Roche, Denise O’Sullivan and Louise Quinn all went very close to breaking the deadlock before Ireland finally found the net in the second of the five minutes added on for injury-time with a superbly worked goal.

It all began on the left with Karen Duggan who found Megan Campbell and she in turn picked out Shannon Smyth who then fed Dora Gorman and the UCD Waves midfielder split the Slovak defence with a precise pass that sent Stephanie Roche clear. The 25-year-old showed great composure in drilling a left footed shot past the advancing goalkeeper to the corner of the net.

Manager Sue Ronan admitted that she thought the goal would never come but felt her side fully deserved the win.

“The conditions were very tough. The pitch was heavy and that made it difficult but the girls worked very hard from the first whistle and created plenty of chances. Late goals have been a hallmark of our campaign and I was particularly pleased that in injury time we were still composed enough to string together four excellent passes to split the defence and put Stephanie through and she took her goal very well,” said Ronan.

Republic of Ireland: Emma Byrne (Arsenal); Áine O’Gorman (UCD Waves), Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United), Niamh Fahey (Arsenal), Karen Duggan (UCD Waves); Shannon Smyth (Amazon Grimstad). Dora Gorman (UCD Waves), Denise O’Sullivan (Glasgow City); Siobhan Killeen (Raheny United), Ruesha Littlejohn (Sandviken), Julie Ann Russell (UCD Waves). Subs: Stephanie Roche (ASPTT Albi) for Killeen (46mins). Megan Campbell (Florida State University) for Fahey (70) Fiona O’Sullivan (Notts County) for D O’Sullivan (81). Unused subs: Niamh Reid-Burke (Raheny United). Sophie Perry (Brighton & Hove Albion), Meabh de Burca (Galway WFC), Ciara Grant (UCD Waves).

Slovakia: Korenčiová (GK),  Haršányová, Matysová (C), Vojteková, Bíróová, Cerovská (Kolenová 74), Ondrušová, Fatulová (Klechová 52), Šušková, Bartovičová, Fecková

Referee Simona Ghisletta (Switzerland).

WNT face tough test in Slovakia

Ireland’s Women’s National Team are into the last week of their 2015 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign with an outside chance of finishing second in Group 1 behind European Champions and World No.2 Germany.
Julie-Ann Russell.jpg
13th Sep 2014

Sue Ronan’s side need favours today and Wednesday if they are to pip Russia for the runners-up spot but they also have to do their own job first and that starts today in Senec, just outside Bratislava, when they face Slovakia.

In contrast to the sunny weather back home in Ireland, it has been raining heavily over the last few days in Slovakia and the pitch faces a preliminary inspection this morning with both teams prevented from having the traditional eve of match training session on it yesterday.

That all points to a heavy pitch which is going to cut up once the game starts and, mindful of the conditions, Ronan won’t name her starting team until close to kick-off as she and her players bids to extend the side’s current unbeaten run to four games which has been an excellent response to the back to back home defeats to Germany and Russia in March and April respectively.

The games against Croatia, Russia and Slovenia have produced two wins, a draw and three clean sheets and brought Ireland to 14points which is their biggest points haul ever from a World Cup qualifying campaign, another positive sign of the improvements that have been made since the Euro 2013 campaign.

Goals from Julie-Ann Russell and Denise O’Sullivan saw Ireland beat Slovakia 12 months ago when the side’s met on a hot and sunny Sunday in Bray and the Slovaks have only picked up four points thanks to a 1-0 win away to Croatia and a 1-1 draw at home to the same opposition.

However, in their recent game away to Russia they led for 33 minutes and it took a couple of fortuitous goals late on to give the home side a 3-1 victory. It’s a performance that has been noted by Ronan and her backroom team.

“It won’t be easy,” continued Ronan. “Slovakia are another tough team and, if anything, have become harder to break down as qualifying has progressed.  

Today’s match against Slovakia takes place at the Slovakia Football Federation’s National Training Centre in Senec (2.30pm Irish time) and a live stream of the match can be viewed at  https://www.youtube.com/user/sfzofficial

SQUAD:  Goalkeepers: Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Niamh Reid-Burke (Raheny United). Defenders: Áine O’Gorman (UCD Waves), Sophie Perry (Brighton & Hove Albion), Meabh de Burca (Galway WFC), Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United), Niamh Fahey (Arsenal), Karen Duggan (UCD Waves), Megan Campbell (Florida State University). Midfielders: Julie Ann Russell (UCD Waves), Siobhan Killeen (Raheny United), Dora Gorman (UCD Waves), Ciara Grant (UCD Waves), Shannon Smyth (Amazon Grimstad). Forwards: Fiona O’Sullivan (Notts County), Denise O’Sullivan (Glasgow City), Stephanie Roche (ASPTT Albi), Ruesha Littlejohn (Sandviken).

LIttlejohn ready for Slovakia test

Ruesha Littlejohn has arrived in Slovakia brimming with confidence after helping her club Sandviken to the verge of promotion to the Norwegian top flight.
Ruesha LIttlejohn.jpg
11th Sep 2014

The 24-year-old has bagged 13 goals since joining the Bergen based club from Glasgow City earlier in the year and is thoroughly enjoying life in Scandinavia.

“It’s going good,” she said. “It’s been a good experience so far. I have enjoyed my time in Bergen, it’s a nice place and the people are really nice and friendly so it’s nice to settle in. The football has been good, we are top of the league, so everything is going good.”

She’s been playing up front and midfield for Sandviken and the goals started flying in once she got use to the way the team played.

“It took me a bit of time to adapt to the way they wanted me to play. They are quite a direct team so there are quite a lot of long balls whereas I prefer it more to feet. But it’s also  brought a lot more into my game by doing what the coach wants me to do so I am getting there. I have scored a few and we’re top of the league so it’s all going good.”

Littlejohn has played a big role in Ireland’s World Cup campaign having appeared in seven of the eight games played so far and she feels that overall the team have done well even though there are regrets about two games in particular.

“It’s a shame we slipped up to Croatia and losing 3-1 to Russia was disappointing because obviously we dropped points there. We need to keep plugging away and hopefully we will pick up points in these next two games.”

Ireland beat Slovakia 2-0 in Bray a year ago at the very start of the campaign and Littlejohn feels they need to go looking to win the game from the first whistle.

“I think if we go out and start strong we should, hopefully, take care of the game. They’ve improved so it’s obviously not going to be an easy game but if we got out and play the best we can and start strong, hopefully everything will work out in our favour.”

With two goals from 23 appearances, Littlejohn is keen to improve her scoring ratio having showed just how clinical she can be in front of goal when scoring against World No 7 Canada at the Cyprus Cup last March.

“You normally remember goals if you win the game and obviously we didn’t win the game so it doesn’t really count for anything but it was nice to score. I think a few of the girls in the team are wanting to score a few more goals so it would be nice to try and get a couple myself. We will see what happens.”

Saturday’ s match against Slovakia takes place at the Slovakia Football Federation’s National Training Centre in Senec (2.30pm Irish time) while Wednesday’s final qualifier against Germany will be played on Wednesday, September 17 in the Albstadion, Heidenheim (5.30pm Irish time).

SQUAD:  Goalkeepers: Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Niamh Reid-Burke (Raheny United). Defenders: Áine O’Gorman (UCD Waves), Sophie Perry (Brighton & Hove Albion), Meabh de Burca (Galway WFC), Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United), Niamh Fahey (Arsenal), Karen Duggan (UCD Waves), Megan Campbell (Florida State University). Midfielders: Julie Ann Russell (UCD Waves), Siobhan Killeen (Raheny United), Dora Gorman (UCD Waves), Ciara Grant (UCD Waves), Shannon Smyth (Amazon Grimstad). Forwards: Fiona O’Sullivan (Notts County), Denise O’Sullivan (Glasgow City), Stephanie Roche (ASPTT Albi), Ruesha Littlejohn (Sandviken).

Tactical Lineups

Slovakia

12 Korenčiová (G) 2 Haršányová 4 Matysová (C) 5 Bíróová 6 Cerovská 8 Fecková 9 Vojteková 10 Ondrušová 11 Fatulová 15 Šušková 16 Bartovičová

Substitutes

  • 1 Lucia El-Dahaibiová (G)
  • 3 Lenka Mravíková
  • 7 Patrícia Fischerová
  • 13 Eva Kolenová
  • 14 Sandra Kujovičová
  • 17 Veronika Klechová

Republic of Ireland

1 Byrne (G)(C) 2 Fahey 4 Quinn 6 Gorman 8 Littlejohn 10 D. O'Sullivan 11 Russell 14 Smyth 17 O'Gorman 19 Duggan 23 Killeen

Officials

  • Referee Simona Ghisletta
  • Assistant Referee Belinda Brem
  • Assistant Referee Linda Schmid
  • 4th Referee Maria Sukenikova
  • Uefa Delegate Krisztina Varga
  • Referee Observer Vibeke Karlsen
  • Miriama Matulova

Minute by Minute Commentary

  • The match is under way.
  • 3" Ruesha Littlejohn (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Jana Vojteková (Slovakia).
  • 4" Dana Fecková (Slovakia) takes the free-kick.
  • 4" Monika Matysová (Slovakia) misses the target.
  • 5" Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 6" Siobhan Killeen (Republic of Ireland) takes the corner.
  • 8" Aine O'Gorman (Republic of Ireland) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Lucia Šušková (Slovakia).
  • 9" Jana Vojteková (Slovakia) fouls.
  • 10" Ruesha Littlejohn (Republic of Ireland) has an attempt on goal.
  • 10" Maria Korenčiová (Slovakia) blocks a shot.
  • 11" Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland) delivers the corner.
  • 11" Lucie Haršányová (Slovakia) is penalised for a foul on Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland).
  • 12" Siobhan Killeen (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 13" Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland) takes the corner.
  • 15" Kristína Cerovská (Slovakia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Siobhan Killeen (Republic of Ireland).
  • 16" Denise O'Sullivan (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 18" Denise O'Sullivan (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 22" Lucie Haršányová (Slovakia) is penalised for a foul on Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland).
  • 25" Dana Fecková (Slovakia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland).
  • 25" Ruesha Littlejohn (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 26" Lucia Šušková (Slovakia) has an attempt on goal.
  • 26" Emma Byrne (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 27" Dana Fecková (Slovakia) has a shot blocked.
  • 28" Jana Vojteková (Slovakia) delivers the corner.
  • 28" Monika Matysová (Slovakia) misses the target.
  • 28" Denise O'Sullivan (Republic of Ireland) is flagged for offside.
  • 30" Dana Fecková (Slovakia) has a shot blocked.
  • 31" Jana Vojteková (Slovakia) takes the corner.
  • 34" Ruesha Littlejohn (Republic of Ireland) has an effort on goal.
  • 34" Maria Korenčiová (Slovakia) blocks a shot.
  • 36" Lucie Haršányová (Slovakia) is penalised for a foul on Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland).
  • 38" Alexandra Bíróová (Slovakia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Ruesha Littlejohn (Republic of Ireland).
  • 38" Alexandra Bíróová (Slovakia) is cautioned by the referee.
  • 41" Aine O'Gorman (Republic of Ireland) delivers the corner.
  • 41" Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 43" Lucie Haršányová (Slovakia) is penalised for a foul on Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland).
  • 44" Aine O'Gorman (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 44" Niamh Fahey (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 45" Aine O'Gorman (Republic of Ireland) has an effort on goal.
  • 45" Maria Korenčiová (Slovakia) blocks a shot.
  • 45" Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland) has an attempt on goal.
  • 45" Maria Korenčiová (Slovakia) blocks a shot.
  • The referee blows for half-time.
  • The second half begins.
  • 46" Stephanie Roche (in) - Siobhan Killeen (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 48" Dora Gorman (Republic of Ireland) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Simona Fatulová (Slovakia).
  • 50" Denise O'Sullivan (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 52" Veronika Klechová (in) - Simona Fatulová (out) (Slovakia)
  • 54" Monika Matysová (Slovakia) fouls.
  • 55" Stephanie Roche (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 55" Stephanie Roche (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 57" Monika Matysová (Slovakia) is penalised for a foul on Ruesha Littlejohn (Republic of Ireland).
  • 57" Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 58" Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 58" Denise O'Sullivan (Republic of Ireland) has an effort on goal.
  • 58" Maria Korenčiová (Slovakia) blocks a shot.
  • 59" Veronika Klechová (Slovakia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Niamh Fahey (Republic of Ireland).
  • 60" Kristína Cerovská (Slovakia) fouls.
  • 60" Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 62" Lucia Šušková (Slovakia) is adjudged to be in an offside position.
  • 63" Denise O'Sullivan (Republic of Ireland) is flagged for offside.
  • 65" Ruesha Littlejohn (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Jana Vojteková (Slovakia).
  • 66" Kristína Cerovská (Slovakia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Ruesha Littlejohn (Republic of Ireland).
  • 66" Kristína Cerovská (Slovakia) fouls.
  • 66" Stephanie Roche (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 70" Megan Campbell (in) - Niamh Fahey (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 70" Stephanie Roche (Republic of Ireland) takes the corner.
  • 70" Dora Gorman (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 74" Stephanie Roche (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 74" Eva Kolenová (in) - Kristína Cerovská (out) (Slovakia)
  • 76" Stephanie Roche (Republic of Ireland) has a shot blocked.
  • 78" Denise O'Sullivan (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 79" Diana Bartovičová (Slovakia) is penalised for a foul on Aine O'Gorman (Republic of Ireland).
  • 80" Lucie Haršányová (Slovakia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on @@player2 (@@team2).
  • 80" Lucie Haršányová (Slovakia) is shown a yellow card.
  • 81" Fiona O'Sullivan (in) - Denise O'Sullivan (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 81" Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 81" Megan Campbell (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 82" Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland) has an effort on goal.
  • 82" Maria Korenčiová (Slovakia) blocks a shot.
  • 83" Louise Quinn (Republic of Ireland) has an attempt on goal.
  • 83" Maria Korenčiová (Slovakia) blocks a shot.
  • 83" Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland) delivers the corner.
  • 83" Lucia Šušková (Slovakia) fouls.
  • 84" Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 86" Ruesha Littlejohn (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Eva Kolenová (Slovakia).
  • 87" Jana Vojteková (Slovakia) takes the free-kick.
  • 88" Lucia Ondrušová (Slovakia) misses the target.
  • 88" Ruesha Littlejohn (Republic of Ireland) has a shot blocked.
  • 89" Eva Kolenová (Slovakia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Julie Russell (Republic of Ireland).
  • 89" Megan Campbell (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 89" Louise Quinn (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 90" Ruesha Littlejohn (Republic of Ireland) has a shot blocked.
  • 90+1" Stephanie Roche (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 90+2" Stephanie Roche (Republic of Ireland) scores!
  • 90+3" Lucie Haršányová (Slovakia) fouls.
  • 90+3" Megan Campbell (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • The final whistle is blown.

Match Statistics

  • Slovakia
  • Republic of Ireland

Corners Won

2 6

Shots on Target

1 8

Shots off Target

3 12

Fouls Committed

19 8
  • Slovakia

    Republic of Ireland

  • 0Goals1
  • 2Yellow Card(s)0
  • 0Red Card(s)0
  • 1Shots on Goal8
  • 3Shots Wide12
  • 2Shot(s) Blocked3
  • 7Save(s)1
  • 6Total Shots23
  • 19Fouls Committed8
  • 2Corner(s)6
  • 1Offside(s)2