Ireland Women's U19s still in hunt for UEFA finals spot

Ireland Women's U19s still in hunt for UEFA finals spot

THE Republic of Ireland Under-19 Women's team are 90 minutes from clinching a place in the UEFA Championships finals after a scoreless draw with the Netherlands in Ermelo tonight.
7th Apr 2014

Netherlands 0 Republic of Ireland 0

THE Republic of Ireland Under-19 Women's team are 90 minutes from clinching a place in the UEFA Championships finals after a scoreless draw with the Netherlands in Ermelo tonight.

Dave Connell's side, watched by senior international team manager Sue Ronan, produced the better quality chances on the night but could not find a way past home stopper Jennifer Vreugdenhil.

With Austria drawing 1-1 with Turkey in the other game in Group Five, Ireland now know they can seal their place in the finals in Norway with a victory on Thursday against the Turks – providing it betters Holland's result against Austria.

"Holland had more of the possession but we defended very well again. We did have the best chances and it took a world class save from their keeper from a Megan Connolly free-kick to deny us the victory," said Connell.

"It was unbelievable work-rate from the girls - they should be very proud. That's three games in a row against Sweden at La Manga, Austria and Holland here in this tournament where we've not conceded.

"We're difficult to beat but we also played very well. It wasn't a case of backs to the wall, although the Dutch probably shaded the first half. We were the better side after the break. A draw wasn't exactly the fair result."

The Irish will now turn their minds to the Turkish challenge and Connell has the height of respect for their forthcoming opponents who the Irish face at Harderwijk in two days.

"We're in with a shout on last day and you couldn't ask for much more than that. We've to win on Thursday and beat Holland's result," he said.

"The good thing is that Austria are still in it too. They have to go for it against the Dutch. Turkey are dogged and have a couple of decent players so will be difficult opponents."

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Brosnan; Keenan, McCarthy, Mustaki (C), O'Connell, Rowe (Gargan 71), Wright, Connolly, Dwyer, O'Connor, Shine.

NETHERLANDS: Vreugdenhil, Peels, Kerkdijk, Mourmans, Kaagman, Kuijpers, Roord, Kets (Hoekstra 81), Berends (Kuikstra 63), Janssen, Delleman.

FIXTURES

Saturday, April 5
UEFA Women's U19 Elite Qualifying Round Group 5
Austria 0 Republic of Ireland 1, Sportpark DVS '33 Ermelo, Ermelo (NED)

Monday, April 7
UEFA Women's U19 Elite Qualifying Round Group 5
Netherlands 0 Republic of Ireland 0, Sportpark DVS '33 Ermelo, Ermelo (NED)

Thursday, April 10
UEFA Women's U19 Elite Qualifying Round Group 5
Turkey v Republic of Ireland, De Strokel, Harderwijk (NED) (6.00pm Irish)