Wales 0 - 1 Republic of Ireland | 2019 - Senior Women's Friendlies | 999945325

Senior Women's Friendlies International Friendly | Estadio Municipal de Marbella, Marbella, Spain
Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Wales 0 - 1 Republic of Ireland

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Ireland WNT: Quinn header secures Welsh win

Republic of Ireland Women's National Team secured a fantastic 1-0 victory over Wales thanks to a second-half header from Louise Quinn.
5th Mar 2019

Ireland dominated the vast majority of the contest in the Estadio de Municipal Marbella and end the international camp with an impressive victory over a strong Welsh side. 

Defenders Diane Caldwell and Megan Campbell both missed the international friendly through injury whilst striker Emily Whelan was sidelined through illness. 

Claire O'Riordan came into the starting line-up to replace Campbell in Colin Bell's only change to the team following the 0-0 draw against the same opposition last week. 

In the blistering Spanish heat, both sides struggled to create openings during the first-half at the Estadio de Municipal Marbella. The closest Ireland came during the first-half was three minutes from the break through full-back Harriet Scott. 

The tireless Leanne Kiernan retrieved a loose clearance on the right and her cross was only punched away as far as the on-rushing Scott, who failed to adjust in time as her shot was blocked. 

After the break, Ireland were the far superior team throughout and almost went ahead in the 61st-minute. After a 15-pass move from Colin Bell's side, the Welsh defence cleared the ball out to Quinn who fired a shot narrowly over the bar from 30 yards. 

A minute later, Quinn had her goal. Heather Payne won a free-kick on the right and Tyler Toland's pinpoint cross found the Arsenal defender who rose highest to head home. 

It was a quiet 45-minutes for goalkeeper Marie Hourihan as Ireland defended stoutly throughout and secured the victory they deserved after the 10-day international camp in Marbella, Spain.

"It's a fantastic victory for the team and I'm absolutely delighted with the players. I felt we struggled with the Welsh press in the first-half but really kicked on after the break and deservedly won," said WNT Head Coach Colin Bell.

"It's been a great 10-day camp with the team, fantastic effort throughout from the entire squad and I would go so far as to say this is the best camp I've had with the team during my time here. The second-half performance was excellent, we had a number of brilliant phases of play and I'm delighted for the team to get the win.

"It's a huge confidence boost for the team of course, heading into those qualifiers in September. Wales are a second-seed so it shows we can mix it with these teams and get results against them, which is what we need to do to qualify for a major international tournament.

"The effort, the commitment and the desire from every single member of the team throughout was exceptional and we look forward to our next camp in April when we head to Italy."

Republic of Ireland: Marie Hourihan (GK), Heather Payne, Harriet Scott, Louise Quinn, Niamh Fahey, Tyler Toland, Leanne Kiernan (Amber Barrett 80), Denise O'Sullivan, Katie McCabe (C), Claire O'Riordan, Megan Connolly.

Wales: Laura O'Sullivan (GK) (Claire Skinner 48), Gemma Evans, Sophie Ingle, Rhiannon Roberts, Angharad James, Kayleigh Jones, Jessica Fishlock, Natasha Harding, Cori Williams, Hayley Ladd, Kylie Nolan, Claire Skinner. 

Referee: Marta Frias Acedo (ESP)

Ireland WNT: Kiernan ready to lead the WNT line

Republic of Ireland Women's National Team striker Leanne Kiernan is ready to lead her team into the UEFA 2021 European Championships qualifiers in September.
4th Mar 2019

The Cavan-native has gone from strength to strength for Colin Bell's side since her move to English Women's Super League side West Ham United last year. 

Kiernan starred for Women's National League side Shelbourne before her move to the UK and started in the 0-0 draw against Wales last week. The 19-year-old is set to start again in Tuesday's international friendly against Wales in Marbella and she is already planning to play a big part in the upcoming qualification campaign. 

"It's going to be great. To have the draw made now, it makes it feel real and you can feel the positivity within the camp at the moment," said Kiernan.

"You see the quality in the squad and it makes you really excited as a player to be part of something which could be really special. I'm working hard to keep improving and feeling really strong at the moment, and you see the same improvement in every player. 

"It's been a great camp for us. We've been able to do a lot of hard work on the pitch and really focus our attention on what we need to do. We did really well in the first game but now we're looking to improve on that and win the game."

Ireland were drawn into Group I where they will face Germany, Ukraine, Greece and Montenegro, starting with a home match against Montenegro in September. Bell's side have another international friendly scheduled against Italy in April as the squad bid to qualify for their first-ever major international tournament. 

Kiernan made eight appearances during the FIFA 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign, scoring three goals, including an impressive brace in the 4-0 win over Northern Ireland. 

"We made a lot of steps forward during the last campaign. We were able to achieve some great results and I thought we were really unlucky to miss out in the end," continued Ballieborough-born Kiernan.

"We'll be looking to bring that momentum forward into the next campaign and with the next two friendly matches coming up, against tough sides like Wales and Italy, we'll want to use every minute we have together as a squad.

"We want to be that squad who first qualified for a major international tournament, it's a huge motivation. It's a dream to play for your country but to play at the European Championships for your country is on another level."

Republic of Ireland WNT squad v Wales
Goalkeeepers: Marie Hourihan (Brighton & Hove Albion), Grace Moloney (Reading), Courtney Brosnan (Le Harve)
Defenders: Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Heather Payne (Bristol City), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Claire O'Riordan (MSV Duisberg), Megan Campbell (Manchester City), Eabha O'Mahony (Cork City) 
Midfielders: Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Tyler Toland (Kildrum Tigers), Denise O'Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne)
Forwards: Amber Barrett (Peamount United), Leanne Kiernan (West Ham United), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne), Katie McCabe (Arsenal)

Result - International Friendly
28/02: Wales 0-0 Republic of Ireland, Marbella Football Centre, 3pm (4pm local time)

Fixture - International Friendly
05/03: Wales v Republic of Ireland, Estadio Municipal de Marbella, 12pm (1pm local time)