27.01.2008 at 14:30 Frank Cooke Park
Referee: T. Traynor.
Ciara Mary Grant
Michele O Brien
Women’s International Friendly
Frank Cooke Park, Tolka Rovers FC
Republic of Ireland 1 – 1 Holland
The Republic of Ireland Women’s team scored a second half equaliser to secure a draw against a superb Holland side today.
Manon Melis of Malmo FC scored a terrific goal to give Holland the lead when she fired a left foot shot from the edge of the penalty area which looped over the reach of Ireland goalkeeper Emma Byrne a minute before half-time.
Both teams had their chances to break the deadlock in the early stages but defences were to the fore.
Ireland got the equaliser they deserved ten minutes after the break when Stefanie Curtis headed in a cross from the left-wing delivered by Edel Malone.
That leveller galvanised the Irish and they were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty kick 12 minutes later. Katie Taylor burst into the box with an incisive run and was brought to the ground by a challenge from Liesbeth Migchelsen. The Irish players appealed for a spot-kick but their protests were waved away by referee Tommy Traynor.
Holland almost grabbed a late winner when substitute Sylvia Smit got ahead of her marker at the front post to get a sight of goal and Ireland were relieved to see her first-time shot hit the side-netting.
This was the first of three friendly matches for Ireland in preparation for their crunch UEFA Championship qualifier against Italy in Sardinia. Poland provide the opposition for Ireland next Saturday February 2nd when they travel to Baldonnel (3pm) and the squad complete their trio of warm-up games by taking on the reigning club champions of Europe, Arsenal, at Dalymount Park on Thursday, February 7 (7.30pm).
Republic of Ireland manager Noel King was pleased with his team’s display, saying afterwards. “I thought it was a full-blooded encounter and our team matched Holland in every department. This was a game low on goal-scoring chances but either team could have won it in the end.
“That was the type of performance I was looking for and it bodes well for the game in Italy.”
Ireland: Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Marie Curtin (Hofstra), Yvonne Tracy (Arsenal), Niamh Fahy (Salthill Devon), Sharon Boyle (Raheny United), Edel Malone (Hofstra), Ciara Grant (Arsenal), Sonya Hughes (Tolka Rovers), Stefanie Curtis (Bristol Academy), Kate Taylor (St. Catherines), Michele O’Brien (Watford Ladies),
Substitutes (none used): Aine O Gorman (Stella Maris), Lynn Marie Grant (Lifford), Olivia O Toole (Raheny United), Emma Griffin (Benfica), Lynn Bradley (Raheny United), Noelle Murray (Raheny United), Meabh De Burcha (Salthill Devon).
Holland: Geurts, Bito, Migchelsen, De Boer, Koster, Kiesel-Griffioen, Legemate, Vd Ven, Heiligenberg, Melis, Stevens.