10.05.2006 at 15:00 Cottbus
Referee: Ausra Tvarijonaite (Lithuania)
World Cup Qualifier-match
Petra Wimbersky 3 mins,
The Irish senior women’s side produced a heroic performance in Cottbuss to restrict European champions Germany to the narrowest of victories.
Germany 1-0 Republic of Ireland
The hosts scored after only two minutes but Ireland regrouped and nearly caused the shock result of the year when Edel Malone almost converted a cross for an equaliser in the second half.
To appreciate the Republic’s display, one must consider that the Germans have won all of their qualification games in the series so far by at least four goals, including their win against second seeds Russia.
12,000 spectators were inside the ground to witness a superb match, in which the Republic had Arsenal ’keeper Emma Byrne to thank for several saves.
Ireland controlled much of the possession, however, and carved out a few opportunities in the second half. They couldn’t manage to cap a wonderful display with a goal but they did succeed in regaining a renewed level of confidence for the rest of their World Cup qualifying campaign.
Manager Noel King was understandably proud of his team afterwards: “If there was ever to be a moral victory, this was it. The magnitude of the performance by all of the girls is something we should all be delighted about.”
“Right through the team, we were magnificent. Emma Byrne gave the performance of the month for any sports player in Ireland by producing great saves and all of the other players, including the substitutes, contributed to the game.”
“This result will do wonders for our goal difference,” said King. “We have to play Russia at home next month and we’ll go into the game with great confidence and sure that we have the ability to stay up in the top European division by the end of the campaign.”
Republic of Ireland Team
Ciara Grant (C)
Emma Griffin for Malone (65 mins)
Aine O’Gorman for O’Toole (85 mins)