VIDEO: McCabe's wonder goal earns WNT draw with Italy
Ireland had appeared destined for their second defeat of the tournament when Italy took the lead in the 86th minute through Marta Carissimi. The Italian bundled the ball home after Niamh Reid Burke had pulled off a brilliant save to keep out a powerful header from Luisa Pugnali who was then sent off in the 90th minute for a second yellow card.
However, the draw was no more than Ireland deserved in a keenly contested game where they created several good chances. Aine O’Gorman shot just wide in the first half following some good build-up play, while in the second period Julie Ann Russell twice went close and Megan Connolly and Sophie Perry both had free kicks saved by the Italian goalkeeper Sabrina Tasseli.
Ireland scored what looked like a perfectly good goal in the 54th minute when O’Gorman blasted home a low cross from Perry, but the goal was disallowed for a dubious offside against Perry.
After the game Ireland manager Sue Ronan said she felt that draw was the least Ireland deserved from the match.
“It was another great performance by the team and we fully deserved to get something from the game. We should have been ahead before Italy scored as we had created the better chances, so I’m very pleased with the character and determination the players showed to get the equaliser after conceding so late,” said Ronan.
“We have worked extremely hard this week yet haven’t always got the rub of the green in our games, having a perfectly good goal disallowed for offside in both matches. But taking a point from Italy, who are favourites for this tournament and ranked 19 places above us in the world rankings, will give us lot of confidence going forward.”
“The equaliser was a great individual effort from Katie McCabe, something we’ve seen from her at underage level over the past few years. It’s her first international goal at senior level but I think it will be the first of many as she’s an outstanding talent.”
The Irish now face Hungary on Monday in Paralimni in their final Group A game. The Hungarians, who were beaten 2-0 in their opening game by Italy, lost 2-1 today against Austria.
Republic of Ireland: Niamh Reid-Burke (Shelbourne), Sophie Perry (Brighton & Hove Albion), Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United), Niamh Fahey (Chelsea), Savannah McCarthy (Glasgow City); Diane Caldwell (Kóln), Karen Duggan (UCD Waves), Ruesha Littlejohn (Glasgow City); Julie-Ann Russell (UCD Waves), Megan Connolly (Florida State University), Aine O’Gorman (UCD Waves). Used Subs: Meabh De Burca (Galway) for McCarthy (46), Denise O’Sullivan (Glasgow City) for Duggan (46), Rianna Jarrett (Wexford Youths) for Connolly (65), Katie McCabe (Arsenal) for Jarrett (74). Unused Subs: Grace Moloney (Reading), Jessica Gleeson (Wexford Youths), Megan Campbell (Manchester City), Clare Shine (Glasgow City), Emma Hansberry (Wexford Youths), Rachel Graham (Shelbourne), Claire O’Riordan (Wexford Youths).