Ireland Women start Nations League campaign with 3-0 win over neighbours


Photo: Stephen Gormley (Red Eye Photo Agency)

Republic of Ireland start their UEFA Nations League campaign with comfortable 3-0 home victory over neighbours Northern Ireland

A record crowd for Irish women’s football of nearly 36,000 turned up for the first women’s football match to be played at Lansdowne Road. This was close to five times the previous record of 7,633 fans who attended the pre World Cup friendly against France in July at the Tallaght stadium.

Eileen Gleeson included two surprises in the starting line up for the home side. New recruit Caitlin Hayes, who only received her international clearance on Friday, was thrown into the defence. Tyler Toland also returned for her first appearance for four years.

Gleeson said Toland was in “for her aggression and assertiveness” and she did not let the new Ireland interim manager down.

It was a slow start from Ireland but on the half hour mark a corner from McCabe was only half cleared by Rachel Furness and fell to Lucy Quinn who hit a cracker of a shot that took a deflection on its way into the bottom corner of the net.

The second half was all Ireland and just after the hour mark Abbie Larkin entered the field to spark some additional energy in the home team and crowd. Northern Ireland shot themselves in the foot with twenty minutes to go with a bad mix up between Holloway and Turner, who had raced out of her goal, allowing Carusa to nip in between them and make it 2-0.

With five minutes left to play Ireland sealed the win with a headed goal from Lily Agg from a corner kick which went through a defender’s legs and into the net off the post.

It was a good start to the Nations League campaign for the Irish women who will be wanting to build on their first appearance at the World Cup in the summer.


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