WU16s win UEFA Development Tournament


WU16s win UEFA Development Tournament

The Ireland Women's Under-16s completed a comeback to defeat Serbia in a penalty shoot-out and win the UEFA Development Tournament in Belgrade.
26th Apr 2023

The game ended 2-2 after Aoibhe Brennan and Erin O'Shea got the Girls in Green level following the concession of two first-half goals and then they excelled in the penalty shoot-out.

Freya Healy, O'Shea, Hannah Healy and Katie Lawlee all converted their spot-kicks, while substitute goalkeeper Laura Fanning pilled off two fantastic saves to ensure Ireland won the competition.

Having beaten Hungary 8-2 and Slovenia 1-0 in their two earlier games, the team guided by Interim Head Coach Megan Smyth-Lynch knew that this would be the deciding game of the tournament. And they were never going to give it up without a fight.

Held at the Serbian FA Headquarters in Stara Pazova, the game started off slow before Teodora Vasic fired in the opening goal on 10 minutes.

Ireland attempted to get back into it but a long-range effort from Nevena Kurtes looped into the back of the net on 41 minutes to extend the home side's lead going in at half-time.

As expected of this team and typical of their performances in the previous two games, Ireland shifted up a gear in the second period and pushed their opponents backwards by pressing higher and attacking with more intent.

The reward for their positive play arrived on 56 minutes when a ball out wide to Brennan, who had made an overlapping run forward, and her cross-come-shot zipped in from a tight angle.

Suddenly, Ireland were on the front foot and a nice move saw substitute O'Shea score her first international goal when she hooked the ball in from close range after making a clever run into the penalty area on 62 minutes.

With the scores level, the game needed to be decided with a shoot-out and it was Ireland who prevailed. A fantastic and well-deserved win for the players and staff!

Ireland: Clodagh Fitzgerald (Laura Fanning 46); Aoibhe Brennan, Lucy O'Rourke (Kayla Maguire 75), Ciara Fitzpatrick, Clodagh Daly (Chloe Wallace 75), Kiera Sena (Katie Lawlee 46); Freya Healy, Amy Tierney (Keeva Flynn 75); Hannah Healy, Hannah O'Brien (Sorcha Melia 60), Lauryn McCabe (Erin O'Shea 46).

Referee: Milica Joksic.

UEFA Development Tournament
April 21 | Ireland 8-2 Hungary
April 23 | Slovenia 0-1 Ireland
April 26 | Serbia 2-2 (2-4 pens) Ireland