Poland 1 - 1 Republic of Ireland | 2016 - Women's Under-17 Friendlies | 999942537

Under-17 Women's Friendlies WU17 International Friendly | OSiR Bemowo, Warsaw, Poland
Sunday, February 14, 2016

Poland 1 - 1 Republic of Ireland

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Kiernan strike seals draw for WU17s

Leanne Kiernan fired in a late goal to help Republic of Ireland Women's Under 17s draw 1-1 with Poland in a friendly in Warsaw.
14th Feb 2016

Dave Bell's team are preparing for their upcoming UEFA Elite Phase qualifiers in France and they intended to use this game - and Tuesday's second friendly - to raise the tempo.

Having topped their group in the first qualifying round - scoring 13 goals and not conceding any - Ireland have already showed a togetherness which can be rare for a new group of players. But Bell is keen to foster that even more.

The work that he has done on the training pitch, alongside coaches Laura Cusack and Pat Behan, was noticeable in the early stages of this friendly as his team moved the ball around the pitch with confidence.

The midfield trio of Tiegan Ruddy, Alex Kavanagh, and Saoirse Noonan proved to be the driving force behind the majority of their good moves with Kavanagh's delivery from set-pieces continually causing problems for their opponents.

Solid in defence, quick at moving the play forward, and dangerous when in behind the Polish backline, Ireland proved to be a threat all afternoon. Yet, it was the home side who took the lead early in the second half.

The fighting spirit that has become evident in this squad showed itself again when Kiernan burst through on 80 minutes to fire in the goal that levelled matters. The goal was a just reward for Kiernan's industry throughout the game.

The two teams will meet again on Tuesday afternoon and Bell will be eager for his players to make the most of that fixture as they inch closer to their three Elite Phase qualifiers in March.

Republic of Ireland: McAloon; O'Callaghan (Craven 62), Doyle, O'Gorman (MacKey 55), Reddy (Mooney 55); Ruddy (Farrelly 72), Kavanagh, Noonan; Homan (Kelly 62), Kiernan, Payne.