Portugal 3 - 1 Republic of Ireland | 2018 - U19 Womens Friendlies | 999944366

Under-19 Women's Friendlies Mini-Tournament | Stadium Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Santo Antonio
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Portugal 3 - 1 Republic of Ireland

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Ireland WU19: Noonan strikes in defeat to Portugal

Republic of Ireland Women's Under-19s suffered a 3-1 friendly defeat to Portugal in their opening game of this week's mini-tournament.
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17th Jan 2018

The WU19s are currently in Portugal where they will play three games in a week to help prepare for the UEFA Elite Round in Ireland in April 2018.

Ireland started the tournament today against the host nation and despite a bright start with a number of chances created, Portugal found themselves 2-0 up at the break due to two defensive errors. Cork City WFC striker Saoirse Noonan pulled one back for Ireland early in the second-half after she beat the keeper to Tiegan Ruddy's free-kick to finish. 

Ireland continued to press for the equaliser but the hosts added a third to seal the victory late on as Shelbourne Ladies defender Ruddy was shown red for two bookable offences which will rule her out of the game against England on Friday. 

Despite the defeat, WU19 Head Coach Dave Connell was impressed by the quality of the young players in the squad but hopes his side can cut out the mistakes in the next two games. 

Connell said: "We're disappointed. We started brightly but then found ourselves 2-0 down due to two defensive errors. 

"We had a few chances early doors to go in front but we couldn't take them and we were made to pay at the other end. We were chasing the game then but we got ourselves back into it and again, we've had a number of chances but couldn't take them.

"It's been good for us as we've been able to get the whole squad on the pitch and give everyone a run out. Alannah McEvoy came on for the second half and was very good, and some of the other young players were very bright.

"We've got to do a lot better against England on Friday. We're out of season domestically and Portugal are in the middle of theirs but this is why it is great preparation. We're fully focused on preparing for that Elite Round and we've got another two games this week, and I'm sure we'll do a lot better."

Republic of Ireland WU19 side v Portugal: Turner (GK) (McAloon 46), Craven, Farrelly, O'Callaghan (Doyle 46), Warner (Mackey 46), Kavanagh (Ruddy 46), Noonan (Trill 78), Fahey (Burdis 73), Reddy (Casey 46), Burke (McGovern 46), Mooney (McEvoy 46). 

Ireland WU19: Connell names squad for mini-tournament

Republic of Ireland Women's Under-19 Head Coach Dave Connell has named a 20-player squad for the upcoming mini-tournament in Portugal.
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15th Jan 2018

The WU19s, who have qualified for the UEFA Elite Round stage after wins against Estonia and Latvia in the qualifying round, will face Portugal and England in a three-game tournament. 

Dave Connell's side will fly out to Portugal ahead of their first game against the host nation on Wednesday, January 17, with kick-off at 2pm (3pm local time). Ireland will then face England on Friday, January 19, with kick-off at 5pm (6pm) before their second fixture against Portugal on Sunday, January 21, with kick-off at 2pm (3pm).

The mini-tournament will be crucial in preparing for the UEFA European Championship Elite Round which will be hosted by Ireland in April 2018. Dave Connell's side will face Spain, Austria and Turkey in a bid to qualify for the finals tournament in Switzerland.

Andrea Trill's form for the Women's Under-17 side sees her move up to the WU19s squad whilst there are also call-ups for Niamh Farrelly, Alex Kavanagh and Tiegan Ruddy, who've all had experience with the senior squad. 

WU19 Head Coach Dave Connell said: "We're really looking forward to heading out to Portugal for what should be great preparation for the Elite Round games in April.

We're playing top quality opposition in Portugal and England so we'll have to be at our very best to get the results we want so we can build momentum going into those April qualifiers. 

"It'll also be important for us to work on our tactics and hopefully, all the players can impress during the course of the week, in training and in the matches, in a bid to claim a starting position in the future. 

"With the Women's National League currently out of season, the players will need to get themselves up to the required fitness levels and I can see the vast majority of the squad being involved over the course of the three games."

Republic of Ireland WU19 squad

Goalkeepers: Naoisha McAloon (Peamount United), Erica Turner (UCD Waves).

Defenders: Tiegan Ruddy (Shelbourne Ladies), Roisin McGovern (UCD Waves), Lauryn O'Callaghan (Peamount United, Sadabh Doyle (Galway WFC), Jade Reddy (Peamount United), Katie Burdis (UCD Waves).

Midfielders: Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), Danielle Burke (Cork City WFC), Megan Mackey (Chelsea), Doireann Fahey (Peamount United), Alex Kavanagh (Shelbourne Ladies), Lynn Craven (Shelbourne Ladies), Phoebe Warner (Aston Villa), Orla Casey (Wexford Youths).

Attackers: Alannah McEvoy (Shelbourne Ladies), Saoirse Noonan (Cork City WFC), Kate Mooney (Shelbourne Ladies), Andrea Trill (Cregmore).

Fixtures

Wednesday, January 17: Portugal v Republic of Ireland, Stadium Vila Real de Santo Antonio, 2pm (3pm local time)
Friday, January 19: England v Republic of Ireland, Stadium Vila Real de Santo Antonio, 5pm (6pm)
Sunday, January 21: Portugal v Republic of Ireland, Stadium Vila Real de Santo Antonio, 2pm (3pm)