Ireland CU: McQuillan the hero as Ireland reach Semi Final
After the game finished 0-0, goalkeeper Amanda McQuillan was the hero as she scored the first penalty and saved the third Chinese penalty from Ruonun Yin. Eleanor Ryan Doyle stepped up and netted the subsequent spot kick to send Ireland to their first semi-final of the Universiade since 2007 and only the second time the team has reached that stage.
The one guarantee that the team will have is that they will play a match for a medal with the first three teams honoured.
Dave Connell made no changes to his lineup from the victories over Brazil and South Korea and Ireland started off with plenty of possession as China set up deep in their own half for the opening 45 minutes. There were very little opportunities for either team as Ireland struggled to break down the Chinese defence and the Asian side offered little on the counter attack.
The second half sprung to life early on when McQuillan was forced into action to make a smart save from Xi Xiong. Once the game settled back in, normal service resumed with China blocking any Irish attempt to break through the lines as Ireland enjoyed 73 per cent possession.
Jess Gargan almost broke the deadlock when her inswinging corner struck the near post and spun across goal. Eleanor Ryan Doyle hit the crossbar with a header but the ball wouldn’t bounce back for the TU Dublin striker and the danger was cleared. Ryan Doyle would have the last chance of the game but to her frustration her free kick on the edge of the box sailed over the bar.
Penalties ensued and McQuillan stepped up first and convincingly netted. Yingying Yang of China saw her spot kick go over the bar. Smyth-Lynch and Lynn Craven converted their attempts either side of Shueyue Chen’s successful penalty. Yin was China’s third taker and McQuillan stayed big and got across her line to block the attempt allowing Ryan Doyle to go forward and set up a semi-final against either Italy or North Korea
Ireland: McQuillan, Dwyer, Fox, Doyle, Mustaki, Farrelly, Kelly (McGuinness 85), Gargan (Craven 87), Smyth-Lynch, Meaney, Ryan Doyle.
Referee: Myriam Marcotte (Canada)