REPORT | Russia 1-3 WU19
In the first meeting between the two teams, Ireland were 1-0 victors and they once again came out on top in this game courtesy of some early goals.
It was Russia who kicked off the morning game but they were soon met with some shrewd tactical play from Connell’s side.
Captain Della Doherty was quick to prove her skill as a defender, pushing up on the Russian side from the get go. Doherty maintained a strong Irish presence in the backline, matched on the wing by Galway’s Kate Slevin.
In the 12th minute, Kerryanne Brown fed a ball into Aoibheann Clancy who unloaded a shot at goal but it was collected by the Russian keeper. Slevin showed her power in breaking forward on the right and also on the defensive side when clearing a Russian chance at goal of the first quarter.
Chants from the Russian Under-17s, who were in attendance, couldn’t break the Girls in Green’s spirit and in the 25th minute Erin McLaughlin sent in a perfect ball to be planted in the back of the net by Shelbourne ace Jessie Stapleton.
A corner kick from Shauna Brennan met the boot of Jenna Slattery soon after but it was not enough to secure a goal. Doherty continued her encouragement of the team with guidance throughout and soon set up Brown to secure the second goal in the 29th minute. The Girls in Green maintained dominance to finish out the first half.
The second half commenced with Ciara Glackin replacing Auskalnyte in the net. Ireland retained a steady dominance with controlled passing and hard work off the ball.
Aoife Horgan let her presence be known, controlling the middle of the pitch, Maria Reynolds held her own against the frustrated opposition and McLaughlin controlled the ball to bring others into play.
In the 67th minute, Emily Corbet planted a third goal for Ireland. Russia quickly hit back with a goal in the 70th minute, but there were few signs of Connell's team allowing this game to slip away. In fact, they grew stronger and Glackin was on high alert between the posts.
With a 3-1 final score, Ireland left Turkey with two wins out of two against the Russian side. They will continue to work towards their UEFA European Championship Phase 2 Qualifiers in the Czech Republic this April.
Republic of Ireland: Rugile Auskalnyte (Ciara Glackin 46) Kate Slevin (Melissa O’Kane 75) Della Doherty (Abby Tuthill 75), Therese Kinnevey (Olivia Milner 75), Shauna Brennan, Aoibheann Clancy (Emily Corbet 46) Jessie Stapleton (Nicole McNamara 67), Jenna Slattery (Maria Reynolds 46), Erin McLoughlin (Eva Mangan 75), Kerryanne Brown (Aoife Horgan 46), Emma Doherty (Michelle Doonan 67).