REPORT | WU19 1-0 Russia
Dave Connell wants to use these games to prepare for their UEFA European Championship Phase Two qualifiers in April and he was able to select from a strong squad.
Captain Della Doherty led the team out on a warm afternoon and Ireland immediately set about implementing their game-plan, which involved a positive passing game.
It was Doherty who picked out Kerryanne Brown on six minutes for the opening goal with the Sion Swifts star firing in from close range.
Ireland showed their skillset by constantly applying pressure on the Russians, dominating throughout the first half. DLR Waves goalkeeper Rugile Auskalnyte kept things under control by sending her pin-point kick--outs to her team-mates throughout.
In the second half, Shamrock Rovers ace Maria Reynolds was in top form, matched with the fantastic skills of Sligo Rovers striker Emma Doherty. There were two substitutions in the second half, Galway’s Jenna Slattery replaced Aoife Horgan with Eva Mangan coming on for Jessie Stapleton.
Shauna Brennan kept the wings controlled for the team and left the pitch alongside Erin McLaughlin and Brown with Michelle Doonan, Melissa O’Kane and Emily Corbet joining the team in the 77th minute.
Galway’s Young Player of the Year Therese Kinneavey and Aston Villa star Olivia Milner joined the game with seven minutes to go as Ireland continued to play a controlled game.
O’Kane held down the defence, clearing a strong chance at goal for Russia. Slattery sent a strong ball into the box in the 89th minute but it was soon cleared by the opposition.
The blistering pace of Emma Doherty caused a lot of problems for Russia and she was able to stretch their defence with her running and closing down.
The game ended with a 1-0 win for Ireland and Connell’s side will now meet the same team once again on Monday with 9am kick-off Irish time.
Republic of Ireland: Rugile Auskalnyte; Kate Slevin (Therese Kinneavey 83), Shauna Brennan (Melissa O’Kane 77), Della Doherty (Olivia Milner 83), Jessie Stapleton (Eva Mangan 65), Maria Reynolds, Aoife Horgan (Jenna Stattery 60), Abby Tuthill, Emma Doherty, Erin McLaughlin (Michelle Doonan 77), Kerryanne Brown (Emily Corbet 77).