New Head Coach Vera Pauw sent her first Republic of Ireland senior women’s side into European Championship qualifying action against the Ukraine before a 5,328 crowd in Tallaght Stadium this Tuesday evening.
Ireland scraped past their visitors by three goals to two in what was quite a disappointing encounter. A bright start gave hope of better things to come and things looked decidedly rosy when Captain Katie McCabe put Ireland ahead on 25 minutes and four minutes later Rianna Jarrett added the second.
Sadly that was about as good as it got with Ireland conceding two poor goals before the half-time break. The winning goal came eight minutes into the second half and was an unfortunate own goal from the visitors.
The remainder of the contest was somewhat lack lustre with the closing stages proving extremely nervous for Ireland.
Three points are of course three points but Vera Pauw has quite a task on her hands if Ireland are to mount a serious challenge for second place in the Group. Germany, who thrashed the Ukraine by eight goals to nil just three days ago, have acquired nine points from their opening three fixtures scoring 23 goals and conceding none and already look home and hosed.
Team: Marie Hourihan; Keeva Keenan, Diane Caldwell, Louise Quinn, Megan Campbell; Megan Connolly, Denise O’Sullivan, Niamh Fahey; Heather Payne, Rianna Jarrett, Katie McCabe(C)
Leanne Kiernan for Payne 71′