19.10.2007 at 14:00 Antalya, Turkey
0 - 5
Womens International Under 17
Referee: Danijela Markovic (Serbia)
UEFA Women's Championship U17 First Phase Qualifier
Republic of Ireland 5 – 0 Turkey
Amy Ryan (2)
The Republic of Ireland Women’s Under-17 team began their UEFA Championship qualifying campaign with a comprehensive victory over host nation of the first qualifying phase, Turkey, in Antalya today.
Ireland led 3-0 at half-time against the home side, following goals by Zoe Doherty, Gillian McDonnell and Amy Ryan. They kept up the pressure in the second half and polished off a fine win with two further goals by Ryan and Emily Hanney.
The Irish are be looking their maintain that form when they play Moldova on Sunday (2pm, local time) and Sweden next Wednesday, October 24th (3pm, local time) in their remaining fixtures of the four-nation group. Sweden underlined the threat they possess today by inflicting a 12-0 defeat upon Moldova in the other group game played.
The winner of each of the ten first phase pools will progress to the next stage of the qualifiers alongside the six second-placed teams with the best record against nations finishing first and third in their groups.
In the second qualifying round, scheduled for next April, these 16 teams will be divided into four groups of four. The first-placed nations will then progress to the Finals in May, with one of the four selected as hosts, where a semi-final round will be followed by a final and third-place match. The top three teams advance to the inaugural FIFA U-17 World Cup Finals in New Zealand.
Zoe Doherty had an integral role to play in Ireland‘s victory. She was unlucky to have an effort ruled out for an apparent foul in the opening minutes but nothing could deny her from scoring the opening goal of the match on 12 minutes.
Eilish Ward set up the goal, finding her fellow Donegal player Doherty with a cross and she made no mistake to make it 1-0.
Ireland soon doubled that advantage when Irish Under-19 International Gillian McDonnell converted a chance with a sublime finish.
Amy Ryan scored Ireland’s third goal before half-time after good approach-work by Julie-Anne Russell and Doherty.
The Irish Girls overcame soaring temperatures to control the game throughout. Stacey Nesbitt came on at half-time and fitted seamlessly into the side as they slotted home two more goals.
Ward supplied the assist for Ireland’s fourth goal as she delivered a corner to the back post where defender Emily Hanney rose high and headed the ball into the net off the underside of the crossbar.
Amy Ryan wrapped up the scoring by making it 5-0 thanks to a neat turn and shot which swept through a clutch of defenders and past the Turkish goalkeeper.
Republic of Ireland manager John Morris-Burke applauded his team for a strong display in the first game of the series.
“We’ve very pleased to have won the game so convincingly against Turkey on their home soil,” he said. “The Turkish were more physical in the second half but our team withstood that, as well as the heat, to finish out the game in a professional manner.”
“Our players were excellent today. The goal-scorers took their chances when they arrived but all through the team, at the back and in midfield, the individual performances were top-class.”
Republic of Ireland:
Niamh Reid Burke – Raheny United
Emer Flatley – Salthill Devon
Rebecca Walsh – Salthill Devon
Emily Hanney – Stella Maris
Eilish Ward – Finn Valley
Gillian McDonnell – Dundalk City WFC
Anna McCormack – Cam Celtic
Karen Duggan – Piltown
Julie-Anne Russell – Salthill Devon
Zoe Doherty – Cardonagh
Amy Ryan – Stella Maris
Stacey Nesbitt – St. Mochta’s for McCormack (Half-time)
Maria Harrington – Westport United for Russell (68 mins)
Subs not used:
Yvonne Cahill – Lakewood Athletic
Aisling Dyer – Stella Maris
Lucy Hannon – Salthill Devon
Kelly Nolan – Bunclody
Angela O’Mahoney – Lakeside