Norway 1 - 0 Republic of Ireland
WNT: Hansen ends Ireland World Cup hopes
Caroline Graham Hansen converted a 21st minute penalty to secure three points for the home side despite a valiant effort by an Ireland squad which has been hit hard by injuries.
Hansen slotted the ball past Marie Hourihan but it was Ireland who created the better chances in the rest of a pulsating contest at the Viking Stadion.
Leanne Kiernan fired a shot narrowly wide on the half-hour before Ireland had a strong claim for a penalty turned down as Megan Connolly went down in the area five minutes later.
Ireland should have been level at the break after a spate of chances in the final two minutes of the half. First, Sophie Perry's right-sided cross was only half-cleared to Connolly who fired a fierce effort narrowly wide. A minute later, the tireless Kiernan found space in the area but her low effort was blocked. From the resulting corner, Claire O'Riordan put a free header wide to ensure Norway remained in front at the break.
Colin Bell's side continued their form into the second-half and created a number of openings. Once again, Norway only half-cleared a Connolly corner and Denise O'Sullivan fired over with 30 minutes remaining.
Ireland toiled as Isibeal Atkinson came on to claim her first senior international appearance, replacing centurion Aine O'Gorman who claimed her 100th cap, and almost claimed a point in the final minute. Louise Quinn's long-ball forward fell for Katie McCabe in the area but her low effort was straight at the keeper to condemn Ireland to defeat.
Republic of Ireland WNT Head Coach Colin Bell said: "I'm very proud of the players. We've created a number of openings and we should have got something out of the game.
"It's really tough on the players as they've given their all for the entire 90 minutes and if we can take one of the many chances we created, we'd be coming away with a brilliant result.
"I can't fault the effort of the players and the progress this young team has made. We've got a number of players sidelined by injury and other players have had to stand up. We may be out of the World Cup but the signs of progress give me real hope for the future."
Norway: Hjelmseth, Moe Wold, Mjelde, Thorisdottir, Haavi, Hansen, Maanum (Boe Rise 64), Engen, Reiten, Utland (Thorsnes 61), Herlovsen (Skinnes Hansen 90).
Ireland: Hourihan, Perry-Campbell, O’Riordan, Quinn, O’Gorman (Atkinson 89), Duggan, Toland, O'Sullivan, Connolly (Barrett 83), McCabe, Kiernan (Jarrett 83).
Ireland WNT: Scott set to miss Norway qualifier
The 24-year old, who is the current Republic of Ireland WNT Player of the Year, had travelled with the squad to Stavanger in hope of featuring but has now been ruled out through injury.
Louise Quinn is set to play the qualifier against Norway, despite suffering a fractured nose in Friday's 2-0 defeat at Tallaght Stadium. Quinn has had a protective mask fitted and should feature for Colin Bell's side tomorrow night.
The squad trained at the Viking Stadion earlier today ahead of tomorrow's match which is live on RTE2, with kick-off at 5pm (6pm local time).
Republic of Ireland WNT Head Coach Colin Bell said: "We worked hard with Harriet to try and get her fit but it wasn't to be.
"I'm never going to risk the health of one of my players so I've made that decision to leave her out. It's been great to have her around the squad though as she's an important part of the journey we're on and a great influence on the other players.
"We've been able to get Louise a mask so she should be ok for the match. We'll obviously monitor it to make sure she feels she can play with the mask but her desire to play has been admirable.
"As soon as it happened, she wanted to get back on the pitch but we had to hold her back. It shows the passion and determination the players have for this team. They want to succeed and that's fantastic for me to see."
Aine O'Gorman is set to win her 100th cap if she features tomorrow night. The Peamount United star made her debut in 2006 against Denmark and will reach the milestone against Norway after a 12-year international spell.
Ireland need a result to keep their qualification hopes alive with just two games in their FIFA 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign left and Bell believes the players are prepared.
"It's a simple equation for us now and in many ways, that can make the picture a lot clearer for the players," Bell said.
"We've obviously just suffered defeat against Norway but we've been able to pick out so much from that game which we can learn from. There were a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes in the game and the players have been able to see that.
"We've got to take what we've learnt into tomorrow night's game and try our best to get the result we need. We've made a lot of progress throughout the campaign but we want to go all the way and so do the players."
The WNT Head Coach has limited options in defence with SC Sand defender Diane Caldwell suspended for the fixture after picking up her third yellow card of the campaign in Friday's defeat.
- Republic of Ireland
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Republic of Ireland
- 1Yellow Card(s)2
- 0Red Card(s)0
- 5Shots on Goal1
- 6Shots Wide5
- 2Shot(s) Blocked1
- 13Total Shots7
- 7Fouls Committed3