Women’s Senior Friendly International
Portugal 2-0 Republic of Ireland
The Republic of Ireland senior Women’s side got off to a bad start today in the Algarve Cup when they were defeated by Portugal at the Estadio Algarve in Faro.
Noel King’s Irish side were looking to bounce back from last month’s defeat to Italy in a UEFA qualifier but they didn’t get the result that their display warranted.
Ireland took the game to the hosts in the opening half and created numerous chances to break the deadlock before the break.
Yvonne Tracy missed a glorious opportunity from six yards with a shot she miscued wide and Stefanie Curtis, who has been so prolific of late in the Irish jersey, thought she had grabbed another goal but it was ruled out by the referee for a foul on her marker.
The Irish continued in the same vein after the interval and Edel Malone was denied by the crossbar with her curling shot from outside of the penalty area.
King introduced three players on the hour mark in a bid to capitalise on their concerted pressure and one of those substitutes, Olivia O’Toole, slotted the ball past the Portugal goalkeeper only for a defender to produce a goal-line clearance.
Portugal grew in confidence during the latter stages and struck the opening goal past Irish goalkeeper Emma Byrne two minutes from full-time after the visitors were outnumbered in defence.
Ireland threw players forward during injury time hopeful of clawing back an equaliser but instead were exposed once more by a Portuguese counter-attack and the killer second goal was scored on 92 minutes.
A disappointed Noel King said afterwards: “It was just one of those days for us where we couldn’t put the ball in the net. We should have scored a couple of goals by half-time and had several further chances in the second half but we were punished in the final minutes.
“We expected to beat Portugal today, even on their home pitch but got caught by two sucker-punches near the end.”
Ireland are next in action on Friday when they face Iceland, 2-0 victors over Poland in the other group match played today. The Irish conclude the group series by meeting Poland next Monday.
Republic Of Ireland:
Emma Byrne - Arsenal
Marie Curtin - Hofstra University
Yvonne Tracy - Arsenal
Alisha Moran – Watford Ladies
Sharon Boyle - Raheny United
Aine O’Gorman - Stella Maris
Ciara Grant - Arsenal
Niamh Fahey - Salthill Devon
Edel Malone - Hofstra University
Stefanie Curtis - Bristol Academy
Michele O’Brien - Watford Ladies
Noelle Murray - Raheny United for O’Gorman (60 mins)
Olivia O Toole - Raheny United for O’Brien (60 mins)
Sonya Hughes - Tolka Rovers for Curtin (60 mins).