02.02.2008 at 17:30 Baldonnell
Meabh De Burca
Ciara Mary Grant
Olivia O Toole
Republic of Ireland 4 – 1 Poland
Olivia O’Toole Winczo pen
The Republic of Ireland received a huge injection of encouragement when they continued their build-up for their upcoming European Championship test in Italy when they out-played Poland in a friendly at Baldonnell.
Poland are ranked four places above Ireland in 27th position in the FIFA ranking list and Ireland dealt with their challenge with complete efficiency and admirable confidence. Their big winning margin did not flatter them.
Stefanie Curtis almost handed Noel King’s side a dream start after four minutes as she ran through on goal from the left wing, her left footed shot flashed past Godzinska in the Polish goal.
The Republic of Ireland scored the opening goal of the game when Olivia O’ Toole punished some slack defending at the edge of Poland’s box; she dropped her shoulder and powered a low shot under the arms of the Polish goalkeeper.
Following the opening goal, Noel King’s side pushed forward and enjoyed a period of sustained pressure in the Polish half. Noelle Murray almost doubled the advantage when Stefanie Curtis delivered an out-swinging free kick to Noelle Murray who out-muscled her marker and just managed to get a header on goal which was saved by the goalkeeper.
Áine O’Gorman scored Ireland’s second on 30 minutes, Stefanie Curtis continued to over-run the Polish defence as she made a threatening run down left wing, she delivered a hard low cross which evaded the defence and Áine O’Gorman was on hand to apply a cool finish.
Poland started the second half with much more intensity and their early pressure paid dividends as they were awarded a penalty in the 53rd minute after Niamh Fahey fouled Winczo in the box. Winczo dusted herself down and placed her penalty kick low and hard to Emma Byrnes' right to make the score 2-1.
Michele O’Brien was introduced after 62 minutes and her impact on the game was instant as defender, Niamh Fahy chipped the ball into the box to the on running O’ Brien who made a powerful connection, shooting just wide.
The Irish restored their two goals advantage after 72 minutes, Ciara Grant flighted in a free kick from 25 yards and Arsenal team mate, Yvonne Tracy was on hand to flick the ball into the top corner of the net, giving the goalkeeper no chance.
Stefanie Curtis continued her rich vein of scoring form to score Ireland's fourth, Áine O’Gorman made a breaking run down the right flank and supplied a perfect cross to Michele O’ Brien whose header was spectacularly saved by Godzinka in the Polish goal. Stefanie Curtis was on hand to slam the ball home from a tight angle.
The Republic of Ireland Women’s squad will now warm up for their vital UEFA Championship qualifying tie against Italy on February 16 by welcoming Arsenal to Dalymount Park for a friendly game on Thursday, February 7 (7.30pm).
Republic of Ireland: Emma Byrne, Meabh de Burca, Sharon Boyle, Alisha Moran, Yvonne Tracy, Niamh Fahey, Ciara Grant, Aine O’ Gorman, Stefanie Curtis, Noelle Murray, Olivia O’ Toolle
Subs: Michele O’ Brien (on for Noelle Murray, 62 mins), Emma Griffin (on for Meabh de Burca, 85 mins) , Lynn Marie Grant (on for Stefanie Curtis, 85 Mins), Grace Murray (on for Sharon Boyle, 90 mins), Lynn Bradley (on for Emma Byrne, 83 mins) Louise Quinn (on for Nimah Fahey, 90 mins)
Poland: Izabela Godzinska, Anna Bocian, Justyna Nazarczyk, Dominika Maciaszczyk, Partycja Pozerska, Anna Zelazko, Ewa Zyta, Karolina Bochra, Agnieszaka Karcz, Anna Gawronska, Joanna Ptonowska
Subs: Marta Sega, Agata Tarczynska, Daria Kasperska, Paulina Rytwinska, Paulina Kawalec
Marta Stobba, Agnieszka Winczo