REPORT | Portugal 1-0 WU17
This was the second meeting of the two sides, following on from last Thursday's thrilling 3-3 draw, and it proved to be another worthwhile exercise for James Scott's squad.
Portugal attempted to take control from the very start as they hit the crossbar inside the opening 60 seconds. And they had a couple of other opportunities but goalkeeper Niamh Richardson was equal to them.
On 21 minutes, Ruby Gallagher had Ireland's first real chance on goal but the Shamrock Rovers ace volleyed wide after excellent work by Fiana Bradley on the right wing.
Joy Ralph went close when goalkeeper Nair Pina failed to hold onto the ball but it was cleared before the DLR Waves forward could poke it into the back of the net. Three minutes later Ralph was almost in again but Cancelinha made a last-gasp interception to deny her.
Ireland finished strongly in the first half; showing that they could stand up to their opponents. The heat certainly didn't help with two unofficial water breaks taken either side of the designated cooling period.
Upon returning for the second period, Portugal made six changes and were awarded a penalty within two minutes of the restart after substitute Joana Valente was fouled inside the penalty area. Cancelinha fired in the resulting spot-kick.
Clearly fired up, the home side rattled the crossbar for the second time in the game and had a goal from Leonete Maísa ruled out for offside in the space on three minutes.
Ireland tried to find their way back into the game and had their opponents' nerves rattling with a couple of set-pieces but nothing came from them as Scott's side applied more pressure.
A counter attack from Portugal on 85 minutes almost saw Anna Luísa Marques divert a deflected cross into the back of the net but Richardson was alive to the danger and gathered the ball.
With time ticking down, Heidi Mackin tried to repeat her long-range heroics from the first game with a shot from distance but goalkeeper Carolina Alves was equal to it. And then the last chance of the game saw Ceola Bergin head just over the bar.
Despite losing this game, Scott can pick from many positives in terms of individual performances, team shape, matching a technical opponent, creating goalscoring opportunities and an extremely high work ethic.
The focus now turns to their UEFA Women's Under-17 European Championship Qualifying Round games against Austria, Finland and Northern Ireland later this month.
Portugal: Nair Pina (Carolina Alves 46); Érica Cancelinha (Maria Chaves 78), Inês Meninas (Rita Cunha 64), Carolina Pimenta (Luana Rafael 46); Marta Gago (Mafalda Mariano 46), Rita Almeida (Lara Martins 46), Luisa Brás (Rita Melo 46), Nicole Cassamá, Leonete Maísa (Anna Luísa Marques 64), Neide Guedes (Matilde Vaz 78), Alice Reto (Joana Valente 46).
Republic of Ireland: Niamh Richardson; Aoife Turner (Niamh Tyrrell 57), Grace Fitzpatrick Ryan, Aoife Kelly (Aoibhe Fleming 81), Kiera Sena (Heidi Mackin 81); Ellen Dolan (Freya Healy 69), Jess Fitzgerald; Fiana Bradley (Katie Lawlee 69), Ruby Gallagher (Hannah Healy 57), Millie Daly (Jodie Loughrey 46); Joy Ralph (Ceola Bergin 69).
Referee: Teresa Oliveira (Portugal).
International Friendly Games
September 29th | Portugal 3-3 Republic of Ireland
October 2nd | Portugal 1-0 Republic of Ireland