Italy 2 - 0 Republic of Ireland | 2019 - Womens Under 19 | 999945229

Under-19 Women's Friendlies International Friendly | Olympic Center Giulio Onesti, Rome, Italy
Saturday, January 19, 2019

Italy 2 - 0 Republic of Ireland

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Ireland WU19: January camp ends in narrow Italian defeat

Republic of Ireland Women's Under-19s ended their January training camp with a 2-0 defeat to Italy in Rome but plenty of positives to take into their preparations for the UEFA European Championship Qualifiers.
19th Jan 2019

It is the second international friendly defeat to the Italians in a week as Dave Connell's side start the work for their Elite Round stage games in April. Ireland will face Spain, Serbia and Hungary as they look to qualify for the finals in Scotland in July. 

The home side scored both goals in the first half with the opening goal coming in the second minute of play and Connell believes that the two defeats have been a great learning curve for the squad. 

"I suppose the biggest thing from the week is that we've conceded all of the goals across the two games in the first half. That obviously means that we've got to start quicker in these matches and that is something we can work on going into April," said Connell.

"We had some excellent passages of play once again and some very good individual performances. Sadhbh Doyle was excellent throughout the two games which is very encouraging against quality opposition. 

"The Italians are a really good side and there's no doubt in my mind that they'll be looking to win the Championships this year. It's a great learning curve to test ourselves against the best teams ahead of the Elite Round stage and we'll be working hard to get everything right ahead of April."

Forward Kelly Brady, who plays for American side World Class, made her Ireland debut this week, playing the entire second half this afternoon. Connell was pleased with her overall contribution over the course of the two games.

"For somebody who is completely new to the international set-up and the pace of the game at this level, she did really well for us," commented Connell.

"I'll sit down with the staff and analyse her contribution in the two games but she did well for us and definitely stands a chance. She was definitely a positive so from that perspective, it's been a good week."

Republic of Ireland: Rachael Kelly (GK) (Erica Turner 63), Rachel Baynes (Roisin McGovern 46), Sadhbh Doyle, Megan Mackey (C), Ciara Fowler (Aoife Thompson 63), Alannah McEvoy (Carla McManus 56), Amy Boyle Carr (Kelly Brady 46), Aoife Slattery, Lucia Lobato (Doireann Fahey 56), Sinead Donovan (Katie Burdis 56), Leah Brady (Keelin McEntee 56).