Republic of Ireland 0-2 Czech Republic
Two goals in the opening 20 minutes gave the Czechs control and it proved a difficult challenge for Sharon Boyle's side to get into the game but they produced a solid second half display which will augur well for the rest of the tournament.
The visitors started well and were unfortunate not to open the scoring in the sixth minute when Adela Radova got behind the defence only to shoot wide of the open goal after getting around keeper Naoisha McAloon.
Less than a minute later the Czechs took the lead when Andrea Staskova found the net with a powerful long distance effort. The second goal came in the 20th minute when Michaela Dubkova scored with a close range volley.
Ireland came closest to pulling one back two minutes before half-time when Heather Payne broke through on goal but her shot was comfortably saved by goalkeeper Šárka Slouková. Just on half-time Alex Kavanagh produced an excellent strike from distance by keeper Slouková tipped over.
The second half was a listless affair with Irish keeper McAloon showing some excellent handling but Irish midfielder Nicole Plunkett was unfortunate not to find the net with a looping effort from distance that dropped just wide in the 56th minute.
Plunkett sent striker Niamh Sheehan through in the 74th minute but her angled strike was blocked by a defender. Nela Krejčířová sent in a dangerous cross in injury-time and Šárka Krištofová connected on the volley but once again McAloon gathered well.
The Irish meet Austria at Home Farm FC's Whitehall ground tomorrow afternoon (4.00pm) then face Denmark on Monday at Gannon Park (11.00am).
"It was a difficult start for us against a well-organised side who have been together a bit longer than we have,” said Irish coach Sharon Boyle.
“I was pleased with how we played once we settled down and defensively we were good in the second half. We have two more tough tests coming up now but these games will provide our girls with very good experience of international football.”
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Naoisha McAloon, Lynn Craven, Jade Reddy, Isobel Finnegan, Alex Kavanagh, Heather Payne, Leah Reybet-Degat, Niamh Sheehan, Rachel Baynes, Leanne Kiernan, Chloe Connolly. Subs: Ciana Brogan for Craven 33 mins; Tara O’Gorman for Reddy 37; Nicole Plunkett for Kavanagh 47; Lauren Kelly for Payne 60; Caoimhe Walsh for Kiernan 68.
CZECH REPUBLIC: Šárka Slouková, Markéta Klímová, Natálie Kavalová, Kristýna Příkaská, Andrea Stašková, Adéla Radová, Natálie Varyšová, Michaela Khýrová, Michaela Dubcová, Kamila Dubcová, Olívie Valentová. Subs: Gabriela Šlajsová for Varyšová 41; Šárka Krištofová for Khýrová 41; Lucie Dudová for Klímová 41; Nela Krejčířová for Stašková 63; Natálie Kodadová for Valentová 57; Natálie Valášková for Kavalová 70.
FIXTURES & RESULTS
UEFA Women's U16 Development Tournament
Friday, February 20
Austria 4-0 Denmark, AUL Complex;
Republic of Ireland 0-2 Czech Republic, Gannon Park.
Saturday, February 21
Denmark v Czech Republic, Shanowen Road (1.00pm);
Republic of Ireland v Austria, Home Farm (4.00pm).
Monday, February 23
Czech Republic v Austria, AUL Complex (11.00am);
Denmark v Republic of Ireland, Gannon Park (11.00am).