Our senior women suffered a very disappointing one nil defeat in a crucial 2022 UEFA European Championship Qualifier against the Ukraine in Kiev this Friday afternoon. Ireland had marginally the greater number of shots but just over 25% were on target while the hosts had a 60% on target ratio. The winning goal on 25 minutes was the result of a mix-up involving goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan and defender Aine O’Gorman who put the ball in the net. Eight minutes later, Ireland had a golden opportunity to equalise but captain Katie McCabe struck her penalty kick off the crossbar. Ireland pursued an equaliser with vigour throughout the match but our finishing efforts were quite poor.
A draw would have ensured second place in Group I behind Germany and guaranteed at least a play-off place. Victory would have enhanced the chance of snatching one of the three Group Runners-Up places which offer automatic qualification for the finals. Ireland must now await the outcome of the contest between Greece and the Ukraine in four days time and will hope for a home victory which would take the Ukraine out of the second place equation and make Greece our primary challengers. Both Greece and ourselves are set to meet Germany in our respective final encounters with neither of us expected to gain any points which would ensure our second place finish and a play-off place.
Courtney Brosnan; Aine O’Gorman, Diane Caldwell, Louise Quinn, Harriet Scott; Heather Payne, Ruesha Littlejohn, Megan Connolly, Katie McCabe(C); Denise O’Sullivan; Rianna Jarrett
Amber Barrett for Jarrett 86′
Ellen Molloy for Scott 86′
Goalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan(West Ham United), Grace Moloney(Reading), Niamh Reid-Burke(Peamount United)
Defenders: Diane Caldwell(SC Sand), Keeva Keenan(Glasgow Celtic), Aine O’Gorman(Peamount United), Claire O’Riordan(MSV Duisberg), Louise Quinn(Fiorentina), Harriet Scott(Reading)
Midfielders: Megan Connolly(Brighton & Hove Albion), Niamh Fahey(Liverpool), Niamh Farrelly(Peamount United), Jamie Finn(Shelbourne), Ruesha Littlejohn(Leicester City), Ellen Molloy(Wexford), Alli Murphy(London City), Hayley Nolan(London City), Denise O’Sullivan(Brighton & Hove Albion-loan from NC Courage)
Forwards: Amber Barrett(FC Koln), Kyra Carusa(HB Hoge), Rianna Jarrett(Brighton & Hove Albion), Leanne Kiernan(West Ham United), Katie McCabe(Arsenal), Heather Payne(Florida State University)