REPORT | Ireland WU17 0-1 Austria WU17

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REPORT | Ireland WU17 0-1 Austria WU17

The Republic of Ireland Women’s Under 17s European Championship qualification campaign has begun with a defeat as they lost 1-0 to Austria at Seaview in Belfast on Friday afternoon.
21st Oct 2022

A superb second-half header from Sarah Gutmann was enough to earn the Austrians the three points in the opening match of League A Group three.

Following a tame opening to proceedings, the Girls in Green soon took control, and shortly after Jessica Fitzgerald dragged a shot wide of the far post, they were inches away from taking the lead midway through the first half.

Jodie Loughrey controlled the ball expertly on the edge of the penalty area but after turning quickly she fired her snapshot just past the top right corner.

They went closer to taking the lead on the half-an-hour mark as pressing from Loughrey allowed Fitzgerald to tee up Joy Ralph inside the box but the striker’s powerful shot was saved by goalkeeper Lara Ritter at her near post.

Austria soon grew into the contest and they were unfortunate not to break the deadlock just before half-time but Jasmin Reiterer’s effort from a good position looped onto the crossbar.

Ireland regrouped during the interval and they again went close to edging in front but Ellen Dolan’s close-range header from Kiera Sena’s corner was well saved by Ritter.

And the Republic would rue missing those opportunities as Austria grabbed what would prove to be the winner in the 58th minute when Gutmann nodded Almedina Sisic’s free-kick into the far bottom left corner of the net.

The Irish battled until the end but the closest they would come to scoring an equaliser was when Ceola Begin’s long-range hit was tipped over the bar as their attention now turns to bouncing back in their next fixture against Finland on Monday afternoon.

Republic of Ireland: Keane; Turner, Fleming, Kelly, Sena (Mackin, 87); Dolan, Loughrey, Fitzgerald; Bradley (Daly, 70), Ralph (Bergin, 70), Lawlee (Gallagher ht).

Austria: Ritter; D’Angelo (Albrecht, 84), Satra, Gutmann, Tragl; Hocherl,  Spinn; Illinger (Breznik, 62), Fankhauser (Keckeis, 90), Sisic; Reiterer (Adamu, 84).

Referee​: Jelena Kumer (Croatia)