26.08.2006 at 13:15 Richmond Road
Referee: L. Arwedahl (Sweden)
World Cup Qualifier / Prog-match
Petra Wimbersky 3 mins,
Brigid Prinz 16 mins,
Kerstin Garefrekes 44 mins,
Ciara Mary Grant
Elaine O Connor
Olivia O Toole
Germany lived up to their reputation as the World’s top ranked nation in Womens’ football when they produced an exhibition of soccer to overpower Ireland at Richmond Park by 3-0.
The World Champions scored their three goals in the first half but Ireland more than matched their illustrious opponents in the second half. Irish captain Ciara Grant had a great chance to score on 73 minutes when she cropped up unmarked at the back post but she headed Olivia O’Toole’s cross just wide from six yards.
Irish keeper Byrne saved a penalty from substitute Conny Pohlers three minutes from full-time after Emma O’Connor had fouled the same German player inside the penalty area.
Germany completely dominated Ireland in the opening half and had several chances to score more than they three goals they registered.
Petra Wimbersky netted the only goal of the game when the nations last met in May and it was she who put the visitors ahead after only three minutes when her shot deflected into the net off Irish defender Dolores Deasley.
World player of the year Brigid Prinz was making her 150th appearance for Germany and she marked the occasion by adding the second goal from close range on 16 minutes. Kerstin Garefrekes got on the end of Anja Mittag’s cross-field pass on the stroke of half-time and tucked away a shot beyond Emma Byrne to make it 3-0.
Ireland emerged in the second half displaying a lot more spirit and took the game to their opponents. Attacking duo Olivia O’Toole and 17-year old Aine O’Gorman saw more of the ball and it was no surprise to see Ireland come within inches of pulling a goal back when Grant’s header went marginally off-target.
Irish manager Noel King was delighted to see his team complete their first ever World Cup Elite qualifying campaign with a strong second-half performance.
“We played a lot better in the second half. I was disappointed that the team froze early on in the game but the manner in which they regrouped after half-time pleased me greatly.”
“Germany and the USA are on a different planet in comparison with the rest of the countries playing Womens’ football. They are so far technically advanced than us but we gave them a good test over the two matches against them.”
The game marked the end of this qualifying campaign for Ireland and they will have to await results from the remaining games played by group opponents Scotland and Switzerland to see how the final table pans out.
IRELAND: Emma Byrne (Arsenal FC), Elaine O’Connor (Long Island Fury), Sharon Boyle (Raheny United), Alisha Moran (New York Ath), Dolores Deasley (Long Island Fury), Sonya Hughes (New Hampshire Phantoms), Ciara Grant (Arsenal FC), Diane Caldwell (Raheny United), Aine O’Gorman (Stella Maris), Laura Hislop (New Hampshire Phantoms), Olivia O’Toole (Raheny United).
SUBS: Denise Thomas (Long Island Lady Riders) for Deasley (18 mins), Emma Griffin (Benfica) for O’Toole (73 mins).
GERMANY: Rottenberg, Stegemann, Jones, Krahn, Omilade, Prinz, Lingor, Mittag, Wimbersky, Hingst, Garefrekes.
SUBS: Pohlers and Bachor for Lingor and Wimbersky (70 mins), Rech for Stegemann (74 mins).