Ireland WU17: Friendly defeat after Hibertova strike
With a number of new players making their first appearance for the WU17s side, it was an experimental line-up by Head Coach Colin Bell for the international friendly at Tramore FC, Waterford.
The first of two friendly matches against the Czech Republic is in preparation for Ireland's UEFA European Championships qualifying phase in October. Ireland are set to travel to Serbia to face the host nation, Wales and Albania for a spot in the UEFA Elite Round.
Ireland had a number of chances throughout the game to claim victory in Tramore. In the first-half, Emily Whelan and Jessica Ziu, who made her senior debut against Northern Ireland in August, both went close but couldn't turn the ball home.
Rebecca Cooke had the best chance of the game when Czech goalkeeper Nikola Bidlova dropped the ball in the area but Cooke's effort was cleared off the line.
With 15 minutes remaining, Czech Republic took the lead. After a defensive mix-up from Ireland, Hibertova ran clear to finish and Ireland couldn't find an equaliser in the final stages of the game.
"It is disappointing. Throughout the first-half, we kept it really tight and created a few chances but failed to take them. We've really got to learn to take those chances in the future," said Head Coach Colin Bell.
"The girls got tired in the second-half and we started to give it away far too easily. Really, if you look at the game, they've had two chances and scored one of them, and we gave them it.
"We've got a number of things to work on, especially our decision making and choosing the right moments to play in our system. It is a group which has only trained together for four days, they're learning and we've got plenty of positives to come out of the game.
"Emily Whelan and Della Doherty were very good and there were a number of good performances across the pitch. They didn't out-play us but they were strong, physical and aggressive and we've got to learn to deal with that."
Ireland WU17s face Czech Republic in the second international friendly at the Regional Sports Centre, Waterford on Monday, September 17, with kick-off at 10.30am.
Republic of Ireland: Courtney Maguire (GK), Zara Foley, Mia Dodd, Della Doherty, Kayla Brady, Rebecca Cooke (Anna Fahey), Shauna Carroll (Blessing Kingsley), Jessica Ziu, Eabha O'Mahony (C), Orla Prendergast, Emily Whelan.
Czech Republic: Nikola Bidlova (GK), Karetina Marcinkova, Anna Junkova, Nela Soutkiva (C), Anita Avara, Jeniper Hibertova, Aneta Soyakova, Andrea Hola, Kadelcova Agata, Denisa Neradova.
Referee: Claire Purcell (IRL)