Russia 1 - 0 Republic of Ireland | 2020 - Senior Women's Friendlies | 999947787

Senior Women's Friendlies Pinatar Cup | La Manga
Saturday, February 19, 2022

Russia 1 - 0 Republic of Ireland

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REPORT | Russia 1-0 WNT

An early goal proved to be the difference as a much-changed Republic of Ireland lost 1-0 to Russia in the Pinatar Cup in La Manga, Spain on Saturday evening.
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19th Feb 2022

Vera Pauw always intended to use this fixture to give game-time to several players. Included amongst those changes were debuts given to goalkeeper Megan Walsh, defender Chloe Mustaki and forward Abbie Larkin.

The rotation of players breaks Katie McCabe's run of 42 consecutive starts which dates back to September 2016, while Diane Caldwell wore the captain's armband for the first time at senior level.

Mustaki became the 11th player from the Ireland Women's Under-19 squad that reached the semi-finals of the 2014 UEFA European Championships to earn a senior cap.

Russia made a fast start to the game with Walsh having to be on full alert when saving well inside the opening minutes but she could not keep out a close-range strike from Elizaveta Lazareva.

After good attacking play, Russia squared the ball to Nelli Korovkina to unload a shot and even though Walsh was equal to that Lazareva was there to covert from the rebound.

Ireland responded by playing some nice football and on 25 minutes it almost came together with Ellen Molloy dinking past three players to feed the ball to Larkin to shoot, but her effort was straight at the opposition goalkeeper.

Two minutes later, a breakaway saw Larkin slide a pass to Leanne Kiernan, who skipped inside her marker to fire a shot just over the crossbar. It felt like Ireland were getting closer to scoring with Amber Barrett also shooting too high soon afterwards.

Just before the interval, Kiernan took the responsibility on her own shoulders by attempting a long-range drive into the net but goalkeeper Julia Grichenko pushed it over her bar for a corner kick - from which Caldwell headed wide.

Unchanged at the break, Ireland continued in the second period to grow into the game and enjoyed more possession of the ball. Yet they couldn't find that breakthrough with Molloy shooting over with a speculative effort from distance.

On 70 minutes, Walsh saved superbly with her feet to deny Korovkina and again was called into a similar stop later on. It was an impressive debut for the Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper.

McCabe, who came on as part of a triple substitution, had a great chance to hit the target but her shot didn't trouble Grichenko.

Ireland will be disappointed with the result, but Pauw can pick out many positives and now knows that she can call on numerous players for the remainder of the FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying campaign should they be needed.

Next up is a Third-Place Play-Off on Tuesday against Wales in the same venue.

Russia: Julia Grichenko; Anna Belomyttseva, Kristina Mashkova, Elina Samoilova, Alsu Abdullina; Lina Iakupova, Tatiana Petrova, Elizaveta Lazareva, Marina Fedorova, Ekaterina Pantiukhina, Nelli Korovkina.

Republic of Ireland: Megan Walsh; Diane Caldwell, Claire Walsh, Chloe Mustaki; Áine O'Gorman (Katie McCabe 65), Amber Barrett (Ruesha Littlejohn 46), Jamie Finn, Ellen Molloy (Denise O'Sullivan 65), Isibeal Atkinson (Jess Ziu 46); Leanne Kiernan (Lucy Quinn 83), Abbie Larkin (Kyra Carusa 65).

Referee: Valentová Zuzana (Slovakia).

2022 Pinatar Cup Fixtures
16 February
Match A1 | Wales 3-1 Scotland, Pinatar Arena
Match A2 | Slovakia 0-4 Belgium, Pinatar Arena
Match B1 | Republic of Ireland 2-1 Poland, La Manga
Match B2 | Hungary 2-2 (0-3 pens) Russia, La Manga
 
19 February
A3 | Wales 0-0 (1-3 pens) Belgium, Pinatar Arena
A4 | Scotland 2-0 Slovakia, Pinatar Arena
B3 | Russia 1-0 Republic of Ireland, La Manga
B4 | Poland 1-2 Hungary, La Manga
 
22 February
Final | Belgium v Russia, Pinatar Arena, KO 20:30 (19:30 Irish Time)
3rd Place | Wales v Republic of Ireland, La Manga, KO 20:30 (19:30 Irish Time)
5th Place | Scotland v Hungary, Pinatar Arena, KO 15:30 (14:30 Irish Time)
7th Place | Slovakia v Poland, La Manga, KO 15:30 (14:30 Irish Time)

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PREVIEW | Russia v WNT

Player development is the focus for the Republic of Ireland Women's National Team as they prepare to face Russia in the Pinatar Cup on Saturday evening.
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18th Feb 2022

The game, which will be live streamed via FAITV, will kick off at 19:30 (Irish Time) and there will be a new look to the Ireland team with manager Vera Pauw set to rotate the starting XI from the one that beat Poland 2-1 last Wednesday.

Pauw had always intended to use this tournament to give game-time to as many players as possible with upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup qualifiers very much in sight.

"This is a friendly tournament and we're very happy that we have three games. The next game will be a completely different team playing - all of the players who do not usually play will play but we will not change our strategy or our playing style," said Pauw.

"You need to grow as a team to be able to qualify [for major tournaments]. It is the whole team, not just 27 players but also the stand-by players who put energy in so the whole group is going to another level.

"The task is clear and they get the opportunity to show it now against higher opposition."

There are three uncapped players in the Ireland squad in goalkeeper Megan Walsh, defender Chloe Mustaki and forward Abbie Larkin, who will be hoping to feature against Russia.

The last meeting between the teams came on June 19th, 2014 in a scoreless draw in the Krasnoarmeysk Stadium as part of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying campaign.

Russia overcame Hungary in their first game of the tournament after converting three penalties in a shoot-out following a 2-2 draw in La Manga, Spain.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE GAME LIVE ON FAITV

Republic of Ireland WNT Squad
Goalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan (Everton), Grace Moloney (Reading), Megan Walsh (Brighton & Hove Albion), Eve Badana (DLR Waves)
Defenders: Louise Quinn (Birmingham City), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Diane Caldwell (Manchester United), Claire Walsh (Glasgow City), Savannah McCarthy (Galway WFC), Áine O’Gorman (Peamount United), Megan Campbell (Liverpool), Chloe Mustaki (Shelbourne)
Midfielders: Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Ruesha Littlejohn (Aston Villa), Jamie Finn (Birmingham City), Ciara Grant (Rangers), Jess Ziu (Shelbourne), Ellen Molloy (Wexford Youths), Isibeal Atkinson (Celtic)
Forwards: Heather Payne (Florida State University), Kyra Carusa (HB Hoge), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Leanne Kiernan (Liverpool), Abbie Larkin (Shelbourne), Lucy Quinn (Birmingham City)

Previous Meetings vs Russia
P6 W0 D2 L4

2022 Pinatar Cup Fixtures
16 February
Match A1 | Wales 3-1 Scotland, Pinatar Arena
Match A2 | Slovakia 0-4 Belgium, Pinatar Arena
Match B1 | Republic of Ireland 2-1 Poland, La Manga
Match B2 | Hungary 2-2 (0-3 pens) Russia, La Manga
 
19 February
A3 | Wales v Belgium, Pinatar Arena, KO 20:30 (19:30 Irish Time)
A4 | Scotland v Slovakia, Pinatar Arena, KO 15:30 (14:30 Irish Time)
B3 | Russia v Republic of Ireland, La Manga, KO 20:30 (19:30 Irish Time)
B4 | Poland v Hungary, La Manga, KO 15:30 (14:30 Irish Time)
 
22 February
Final | Winner A3 v Winner B3, Pinatar Arena, KO 20:30 (19:30 Irish Time)
3rd Place | Runner-up A3 v Runner-up B3, La Manga, KO 20:30 (19:30 Irish Time)
5th Place | Winner A4 v Winner B4, Pinatar Arena, KO 15:30 (14:30 Irish Time)
7th Place | Runner-up A4 v Runner-up B4, La Manga, KO 15:30 (14:30 Irish Time)
 
*Republic of Ireland and Slovakia will not play each other due to being in the same FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Group

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