Formidable France defeat Irish women in Cork
UEFA Women's 2013 European Championships Group 4 Qualifier
Republic of Ireland 1- 3 France
The Republic of Ireland produced a credible defensive performance but eventually succumbed to France's greater craft and guile in the second-half of the UEFA Women's 2013 European Championships Group 4 Qualifier at Turner's Cross tonight (Thursday).
Second half goals from Louisa Necib, Marie Laure-Delie and Le Sommer put France 3-0 up before Áine O'Gorman pulled one back in the dying moments.
France controlled the pace of the game early on as Ireland defended soundly, limiting France to long distance shooting for much of the first half.
The best chance of the first half fell to the Irish when Megan Campbell's deep delivery from a free-kick to the back post was met by Niamh Fahey. Fahey's arcing header looped back across keeper and went inches outside the far post.
Irish keeper, Emma Byrne denied Gaetane Thiney in the 33rd minute when she sliced through the Irish defence but her shot was brilliantly parried around the post for a corner.
France moved up a number of gears in the second half and they opened the scoring in the 60th minute when Thiney jinked inside the Irish defence, before passing to Le Sommer whose shot was blocked towards Necib whose shot took a wicked deflection, looping over Emma Byrne's head.
France doubled their lead in the 69th minute when substitute Marie Laure-Delie volleyed a Bompastor cross from the left, giving Byrne no chance in goal.
Le Sommer scored France's third in the 73rd mimute as Thiney shot low across Emma Byrne's post. The Arsenal keeper was on-hand to tip the ball onto the post as Le Sommer was left with an easy tap-in from close range.
Áine O'Gorman gave Ireland a brief glimmer of hope in the dying moments of the game with a sublime finish to make the score 3-1.
She raced onto a long delivery over the top and lifted it over the advancing Devile and into the back of the net, which was no more than Ireland deserved with a brave performance in front on 2,235 spectators.
REP OF IRELAND: Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Meabh De Búrca (Boston Aztec FC), Yvonne Tracy (Arsenal), Louise Quinn (Peamount United), Megan Campbell (Raheny United FC), Marie Curtin (Kilmallock FC), Áine O'Gorman (Doncaster Rovers Belles), Niamh Fahey (Arsenal), Ciara Grant (captain, Arsenal), Shannon Smyth (Amazon Grimstad FK), Fiona O'Sullivan (Pitea IF).
Subs: Denise O'Sullivan (Wilton United) for Fiona O'Sullivan (70), Julie-Ann Russell (Peamount United) for Curtin (74), Stephanie Roche (Peamount United) for Campbell (84).
FRANCE: Céline Devile (Lyon), Laure Lepailleur (Paris Saint-Germain), Laura Georges (Lyon), Ophélie Meilleroux (Yzeure), Sonia Bampastor (Lyon), Sandrine Soubeyrand (capt, Juvissy Essone), Corine Franco (Lyon), Élisa Bussaglia (Paris Saint-Germain), Louisa Necib (Lyon), Camile Abily (Lyon), Gaétane Thiney (Juvissy Essone).
Subs: Marie-Laure Delie (Montpellier) for Bussaglia (33), Eugénie Le Sommer for Lepailleur (45), Elodie Thomis (Lyon) for Nécib (63).
REFEREE: Simona Ghisela (Switzerland).