Smyth hoping Ireland can roll the Swiss

Smyth hoping Ireland can roll the Swiss

Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team midfielder Shannon Smyth is hoping Ireland can win their group at the Cyprus Cup for the second successive year by beating Switzerland tomorrow afternoon.
9th Mar 2014

Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team midfielder Shannon Smyth is hoping Ireland can win their group at the Cyprus Cup for the second successive year by beating Switzerland tomorrow afternoon.

Group 3 is delicately balanced entering the final series of games with three teams capable of winning the group depending on the results. Ireland, who have two points following draws with New Zealand and South Korea, will definitely secure second place if they beat Switzerland, who go into the game with four points following their win over New Zealand and an earlier draw with South Korea.

Having entered the tournament as the lowest ranked team by some distance in the 12 nation tournament, Ireland could find themselves playing for an overall finishing position of third or fourth if they manage to win the group and Smyth, who plays in Norway for Amazon Grimstad, believes it’s not beyond them although she acknowledges it will be tough.

“They finished fourth in this tournament last year and have gone through the last year unbeaten, just like us. They had a strong second half on Friday against New Zealand and brought on a super sub who scored two goals. Last year we had a good campaign here and to come back this year and be in with a chance of winning a group that contains teams ranked much higher than us is great,” said Smyth who was one of the nominees for the 3 FAI International Senior Player of the Year Award last week.

“There is a great spirit among the team and although we have had a couple of draws we know that they could so easily have been a couple of wins. We have to take our chances and play for the entire 90 minutes not just the first half or the second half.”

Last year Ireland finished eighth at the Cyprus Cup and manager Sue Ronan is delighted at the progress her side have shown since they lost 1-0 to Finland in the play-off for seventh place. They are unbeaten in six games since then, during they have also managed to score in each game, and if they avoid defeat tomorrow they will have gone through a full year without losing a game.

“While it would be nice to win tomorrow and even top the group my main concern is that we produce another good performance. We are playing a very good Switzerland who, like ourselves, lost in the positional play-off last year and have been unbeaten since then. They are top of their World Cup qualifying group and have already beaten the first and second seeds in that group, who were both at the Euros. So, it’s going be a tough task to beat them but I think we can cause them problems,” said Ronan.

After a light day on Saturday, the Irish squad a full training session this afternoon and Yvonne Tracy, who was injured in practice last Tuesday returned after recovering from her knee injury. However, Diane Caldwell, Siobhan Killeen and Stephanie Roche sat out training as a precaution after picking up knocks on Friday against South Korea.

SQUAD:  Goalkeepers: Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Niamh Reid-Burke (Raheny United). Defenders: Yvonne Tracy (Arsenal), Sophie Perry (Millwall), Meabh de Burca (Galway WFC), Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United), Diane Caldwell (Avaldsness), Megan Campbell (Florida State University), Karen Duggan (Peamount United). Midfielders: Julie Ann Russell (Peamount United), Rachel Graham (Raheny United), Ciara Grant (Raheny United), Siobhan Killeen (Raheny United), Niamh Fahey (Arsenal), Dora Gorman (Peamount United), Aileen Gilroy (Castlebar Celtic), Shannon Smyth (Amazon Grimstad), Emma Hansberry (Castlebar Celtic). Forwards: Fiona O’Sullivan (SC Frieburg), Denise O’Sullivan (Glasgow City), Stephanie Roche (Peamount United), Ruesha Littlejohn (Glasgow City), Áine O’Gorman (Peamount United).

Cyprus Cup 2014

Group 3 Results

Republic of Ireland 1 New Zealand 1

Switzerland 1 South Korea 1

Republic of Ireland 1 South Korea 1

Switzerland 2 New Zealand 1

Fixtures

Monday, March 10

Republic of Ireland v Switzerland,Paralimni, 12:30 (Irish time)

South Korea v New Zealand, Paralimni, 15:30 (Irish time)

Table

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

PTS

GD

Switzerland

2

1

1

0

3

2

4

+1

Ireland

2

0

2

0

2

2

2

0

South Korea

2

0

2

0

2

2

2

0

New Zealand

2

0

1

1

2

3

1

-1