Ireland women slip up in Euro race

Ireland women slip up in Euro race

Late winner by Wales nicks points...
16th Jun 2012

Women's UEFA Group 4 qualifier


The Republic of Ireland women's team saw their UEFA Championship qualification hopes take a turn for the worse today when Wales defeated them with a late goal at Turner's Cross.

Wales hit Ireland on the counter-attack on 71 minutes to claim the three points thanks to Helen Lander lob over goalkeeper Emma Byrne.

With France on course to claim top spot in Group 4, the chase for the runners-up has developed between Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Following's today's matches, second-placed Scotland lead Wales by three points, with Ireland a point further behind in fourth. Sue Ronan's Ireland must now win their next game, which comes this Thursday when they host Scotland at Turner's Cross.

Ireland had the better of the first half today, with Denise O'Sullivan always a threat in attack. She blasted over the crossbar with a shot on 16 minutes from Shannon Smyth's cut-back and missed the target by a yard on the half hour.

Early in the second half, Emma Byrne was called upon to produce a wonderful save when a shot from Gwennan Harris took a deflection of her strike partner Lander and spun towards goal only for the Arsenal stopper to tip the effort over.

Ireland were next to press and Michele O'Brien should have done better when Aine O'Gorman's knock-down presented the striker with a glorious opening yet her volley skied over the crossbar.

The home side were immediately hit with a sucker-punch as a long punt forward sent Wales striker Lander clear and she executed a superb lob into the net.

A late surge by Ireland almost yielded an equaliser when substitute Stephanie Roche applied a deft header to O'Gorman's knock-on yet Nicola Davis tipped the attempt away.

REP OF IRELAND: E. Byrne (Arsenal); S. Perry (Chelsea), L. Quinn (Peamount United), Y. Tracy (Arsenal), M. Campbell (Raheny United); S. Smyth (Amazon Grimstad FK) C. Grant (Arsenal), M. O'Brien (Chicago Red Eleven); A. O'Gorman (Doncaster Belles), D. O'Sullivan (Cork), JA Russell (Doncaster Belles).

Subs: R. Littlejohn (Liverpool) for O'Brien (71 mins), C. Khassal (Wexford) for Russell (76 mins), S. Roche (Peamount United) for Smyth (86 mins).

WALES: N. Davies (Liverpool); A. James (Arsenal), K. Davies (Chelsea), N. Jones (Cardiff City), S. Ingle (Chelsea); S. Witshire (Watford), M. Green (Bristol Academy), N. Harding (Bristol Academy), J. Fishlock (Bristol Academy); H. Lander (Chelsea), G. Harries (Everton).

Subs: H. Keryakopolis (Liverpool) for Harding (60 mins), L. Price (Cardiff City) for Wiltshire, S. Wade (Barnet) for Green (both 88 mins).

REFEREE: Sophie Karagiorgi (CYP)