22.04.2006 at 17:00 Richmond Park, Inchicore
2 - 0
Referee: Emilia Wnuk
World Cup Qualifier / Prog-match
Ciara Mary Grant
Elaine O Connor
Ireland won in the first ever Women's World Cup qualifier played in Ireland.
Republic of Ireland 2 Switzerland 0
The Republic of Ireland produced a marvelous performance at Richmond Park outplaying Switzerland and thoroughly deserving their first win in the World Cup.
Captain Ciara Grant gave Ireland a deserved first half lead at Richmond Park with her headed goal on 17 minutes after a marvelous corner from “man of the match” Laura Hislop and Olivia O’Toole wrapped up the victory with a second goal in injury time.
From the first minute of the game Burki the Swiss centre forward showed that she was going to be a handful for the “makeshift” Irish defence.
However with Curtin and Moran coming to grips with the Swiss attack and Hughes – my man of the match and Caldwell making inroads in the middle of the field Ireland began to push forward.
It was then that Grant on the right wing Hislop up front and Taylor with her non stop running and explosive speed put the Swiss defence under immense pressure.
Malone put the ball over the bar after a quickly taken free kick caught the Swiss napping.
Burki forced Marie Curtin into a defensive error after 11 minutes but O’Connor saved the day with a full blooded tackle that disposed Burki and put the ball in the other half.
In the 20th minute a marvelous defence splitting pass by Taylor put Hislop in on goal but she delayed allowing Kuenzler back to clear for a corner
From the first corner of the day Ireland went in front as Hislop swung over the corner to be met perfectly by the head of Grant who placed the ball firmly past the Swiss keeper Brunner.
In the 30th minute Ireland nearly went further ahead in an unusual circumstances as Brunner was kicking the ball well all day her kick out landed nicely for O’Connor who volleyed the ball back for Taylor who tried to lob the keeper but the tall Brunner scrambled back to put the ball out for a corner.
Boyle was next to show as she played a well struck pass for Malone whose cross was weak and saved easily by Brunner in the Swiss goal.
If Grant was “doing her thing” on the right wing Malone was certainly not letting the side down on the left wing and one crunching tackle on the half way line left the Swiss defender Schare in no doubt as to the Irish girls determination.
In the 40th minute Diane Caldwell showed her class as she switched the ball from one foot to another but unfortunately was closed down just as she was about to strike
On the close of the first half Sonya Hughes received a yellow card for a tackle on Abbe
Half time Ireland 1 Switzerland 0
Ireland showed that their half time break did not affect their concentration as first Grant and then Taylor showed that they were not content to sit on their half time lead.
The Swiss showed that at this level one goal is not sufficient and Gaillard make a great run the brought her to the edge of the box but a brilliant saving tackle but Curtin disposed Gaillard when it looked all over a goal.
Ireland were on the attack and a sloppy corner saw Switzerland break quickly and centre half Achermann – who looked a class act nearly managed to put Switzerland level but a fine saving tackle once more by Curtin saw her put the ball out off the centre half for a kick out to Ireland.
Ireland were fortunate in the 65th minute when Hughes appeared to aim a punch at the her midfield opponent and was lucky that the referee missed it.
Swiss skipper Steinegger received a straight red card in the 77th minute as she pulled Taylor back who was straight through on goal.
Substitute Olivia O’Toole floated the resultant free-kick over the bar but Ireland’s record scorer found the range in injury time when she fired a shot into the keepers corner form the edge of the box after Grant set her up with the pass.
O’Toole had been unfortunate a minute earlier when she lobbed the keeper only to see her shot hit the post and go out agonizingly wide.
The result means that Ireland have taken four points from their first four games of the qualifying series, an incredible feat considering they were only promoted into the top tier of European nations in the past year.
Now, with spirits high, they look forward to other home games in the qualifying series against Scotland and Russia when they will be seeking to pick up points to help them in their bid to stay in the top flight of competition.
Noel King Manager of the Irish team was obviously a happy man after this victory
“I am absolutely delighted really thrilled for a number of reasons One that we finished the match with three of the oldest players in Ireland playing Boyle, O’Toole and Scanlan all over 30’s that’s a special thing for me because I have been with them 5 years and I think it is special for them to have won the first World Cup game and also to be part of the first televised match.
We were very unlucky to lose in Switzerland but people just look at the results. The girls have been magnificent we prepared in the Algarve and they have given everything.
We played well but I think we can play better”
Ireland: Byrne, O’Connor, Curtin, Boyle, Moran, Grant, Caldwell, Hughes, Malone, Hislop, Taylor.
Subs: O’Toole for Hislop (71) and Scanlon for Malone (92).
Switzerland:Brunner, Kuenzler, Steinegger, Achermann, Moser, Burki, Gaillard, Kaugmann, Schare, Abbe, Maendly
Subs: Wenger for Maendly 61, Schwarz for Schare 73
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 2 SWITZERLAND 0
Noel King's Girls in Green, won their Women's Senior World Cup Qualification tie against Switzerland in Richmond Park tonight. Ireland went into this, their first home game of the campaign, on the back of three away ties which had seen them lose 5-1 to Russia, 2-0 to Switzerland and draw 0-0 with Scotland. The Republic of Ireland took the lead on 22 minutes . Laura Hislop's corner was headed to the net by skipper Ciara Grant. It remained 1-0 at the break. The second half saw several chances fall to the Swiss which they failed to take. The Republic had some chances of their own, but it wasn't until the final minute of normal time when , record goalscorer Olivia O'Toole on as a second half substitute stuck the ball in the net from an Edel Malone pass to make it 2-0. Switzerland finished the game with 10 players because skipper Steinegger was given a straight red for a professional foul on Taylor about ten minutes from time.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND:- Emma Byrne (Arsenal); Elaine O'Connor (Long Island Lady Riders), Sharon Boyle (Shamrock Rovers), Marie Curtin (Hofstra University), Alisha Moran (Harvard University); Ciara Grant (Arsenal), Sonya Hughes( Franklin Pierce University), Diane Caldwell (Raheny United), Edel Malone (Hofstra University); Laura Hislop (Franklin Pierce University), Katie Taylor (UCD) SUBS USED:- Olivia O'Toole (Shamrock Rovers) for Hislop
Claire Scanlan ( Bristol Academy WFC) for Malone;
SWITZERLAND;- Brunner; Schare, Achermann, Steinegger, Kuenzler;
Abbe,Kaufmann, Maendly Gaillard;Burki, Moser; SUBS USED:- Schwarz for Schare; Wenger for Maendly