O'Sullivan double inspires Ireland fightback
Fiona O'Sullivan struck twice to cap off a superb fightback as the Republic of Ireland women drew with Austria in an action-packed friendly at Tallaght Stadium.
Goals from Viktoria Schnaderbeck and Laura Feiersinger put the visitors ahead, but O'Sullivan turned on the style in front of 1,526 passionate supporters with two excellent goals.
With their 2015 World Cup qualifying campaign kicking off in September, Sue Ronan wanted to make the most of this game and her team were certainly given a tough test.
Austria had several talented players on show and they took the lead on 23 minutes when skipper Schnaderbeck curled in a sweet shot from the edge of the Ireland penalty area.
There was little that Ireland goalkeeper Emma Byrne could do about that goal, but she did deny Feiersinger with a fine save and several girls in green produced noteworthy displays.
Yvonne Tracy was one of the stand-out performers on a night when she became only the fourth Irish women's player to win 75 caps. But Ronan will have been pleased by the efforts of her team overall.
When Feiersinger struck the post and then put Austria 2-0 up with a measured lob over Byrne on 67 minutes, the home team showed tremendous character to fight their way back level.
O'Sullivan had gone close with a headed effort before she earned a penalty on 69 minutes and got up to coolly slot it into the bottom right corner of the net to put Ireland back in it.
The American-born striker, whose family ties are rooted in west Cork, got her second goal of the night when she found herself in the right place to connect with Meabh De Burca's cross and head in.
Ireland could have snatched the win with Ruesha Littlejohn and Julie-Ann Russell both going close, but Ronan will be pleased with the draw and how it was earned ahead of their qualifying campaign.
Republic of Ireland: Byrne; Perry (Cooke 46), Quinn, Tracy (Caldwell 71), De Burca; Russell, Graham (Gorman 46), M-T McDonnell (Grant 80), Campbell; Littlejohn (Doherty 90+1), D O'Sullivan (F O'Sullivan 46).
Austria: Kristler; Kirchberger, Manhart, Wenninger, Aschauer; Feiersinger, Schnaderbeck, Puntigam, Prohaska; Burger, Makas (Zadrazil 85).
Referee: Morag Pirie (Scotland)..
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