Ireland Women off to slow start at Algarve Cup
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND WOMEN 0-1 HUNGARY WOMEN
The Republic OF Ireland Women's team were stung by an early Hungary goal on Wednesday as they lost their opening game of the Algarve Cup.
Lilla Sipos caught the Irish cold after just minute by breaking through from the wing and beating American-born Eve Badana goalkeeper on her senior debut.
The slow start to the game meant Ireland were a while in developing a shape to their attack. Still, they soon gained the upperhand and began to carve out chances.
On the half hour, aaptain Ciara Grant saw her header pushed away while Áine O'Gorman had a decent claim for penalty rebuffed after being bundled over inside the area.
Peamount United striker Sara Lawlor came on at the interval for his senior debut and immediately caused Hungary trouble with her pace troubled.
On numerous occasions, she had the measure of her marker but wasn't presented with many clearcut chances to cap her bow with an equaliser.
Sue Ronan's Irish team will meet Wales on Friday before concluding their group on Monday against tournament hosts Portugal. They then face the nation in another group that finishes in the corresponding position of the four teams.
"Most of the girls would be lacking match sharpness as the English and American leagues are only in pre-season," said Ronan.
"I think that was certainly a factor is the team taking so long to get going. On the play, we probably did enough to win the game but it just didn't work out on the day.
"The aim from this Algarve Cup is to build for our next European qualifier away to Scotland on April 5. We'll do lots of work on the training ground and have another three games, so it will be a very worthwhile week."
REP OF IRELAND: Badana (Drexel College); Campbell (Raheny United), Quinn (Peamount United), Tracy (Arsenal), De Burca (Amazon Grimstad FK); O'Gorman (Peamount United), Grant (Arsenal), Fahey (Arsenal); D. O'Sullivan (Cork), F. O'Sullivan (Soyaux ASJ), Roche (Peamount United).
Substitutions: Smyth (Amazon Grimstad FK) for O'Sullivan, Lawlor (Peamount United) for O'Gorman, Caldwell (Avaldsnes FC) for De Burca, Russell (Doncaster Belles) for Roche (65 mins), O'Brien (Chicago Red Eleven) for F. O'Sullivan (84 mins).