Ireland Women's Under-19s through to Elite Round
A first-half brace from Alannah McEvoy and an own goal secured a 3-0 win for Dave Connell’s side against Montenegro on Saturday afternoon at the Sportpark Juliana in 's-Gravenzande in the Netherlands.
Having also collected three points by defeating Ukraine 2-0 in their Qualifying Round opener on Wednesday, the team have confirmed qualification with one game still to play.
McEvoy opened the scoring with just seven minutes on the clock – the striker got on the end of an impressive cross from her Shelbourne team-mate Emily Whelan to put Ireland on the scoreboard.
Just nine minutes later, Ireland doubled their lead when McEvoy converted a re-taken penalty after an incident which saw Montenegro’s Maja Miletić sent off.
The third goal on the 19th minute was originally given to McEvoy, who appeared to score directly from a free-kick, but it was later awarded as an own goal by UEFA.
Head Coach Connell was pleased to fulfil the aim of qualifying, but described the tie as a “scrappy game” due to the sending off.
He said: “We started the game well and were delighted to get the two early goals, but it was a bit of a scrappy game overall. They had a player sent off with just 16 minutes gone and then put all 10 remaining players behind the ball. That’s always going to make it difficult to have a good game.
“But our aim was to qualify and we have done that now. I think we created 50 chances in the two games so far and while that is a positive, we need to work on finishing those chances now. I said before we came out that we were looking at three very different games, and that’s the way it has been. We’ll face our toughest test now on Tuesday against the Netherlands.”
With two wins each, Tuesday’s game will decide who tops the Group 9 of the Qualifying Round.
Republic of Ireland: Maria O’Sullivan, Zara Foley, Eabha O'Mahony, Roisin McGovern, Aoife Slattery (Kelsey Munroe 60), Sinead Donovan (Nadine Clare 60), Izzy Atkinson (Sophie Liston 72), Rebecca Cooke (Kayleigh Shine 60), Alannah McEvoy, Jessica Ziu, Emily Whelan.
Montenegro: Anastasija Krstović, Jovana Nišavić, Jovana Miladinović, (Marija Vukanić 90), Maja Miletić, Marija Maraš, Enida Bošnjak, Ana Knežević (Marica Bajić 85), Jelena Sarić, Jelena Karličić (Đurđevac Nađa 45), Ivana Joksović (Milica Radulović 46), Nikolina Caković, (Majda Drešević 46).
Referee: Marisca Overtoom (Netherlands).
UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship Qualifying Round Fixtures
8 October: Republic of Ireland v Netherlands, KO 18:00 (Irish time), Sportpark Juliana, 's-Gravenzande