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01.10.2008 at 19:00 Vångavallen - Trelleborg - Sweden Attendance:
Sweden 1 - 0 Ireland
Referee: Tanja Schett (AUT) European Qualifier-match

Goalscorers
Madelaine Edlund 42 mins; None.
Opening squads
Caroline Jönsson
Nilla Fischer
Lotta Schelin
Lisa Dahlqvist
Frida Östberg
Jessica Landström
Therese Sjögran
Madelaine Edlund
Stina Segerström
Charlotte Rohlin
Sara Thunebro
Emma Byrne
Ciara Mary Grant
Yvonne Tracy
Mary Therese Mc Donnell
Alisha Moran
Niamh Fahey
Meabh De Burca
Sonya Hughes
Michele O Brien
Stefanie Curtis
Aine O'Gorman
Substitutes
Hedvig Lindahl
Caroline Seger
Anna Paulsson
Sara Larsson
Kosovare Asllani
Nazanin Vaseghpanah
Maria Aronsson
Lynn Bradley
Sharon Boyle
Ciara Mc Cormack
Denise Thomas
Jemma Connor
Olivia O Toole
Substitutions
Jessica Landström (out)
Kosovare Asllani (in) 66 mins;
Nilla Fischer (out)
Caroline Seger (in)66 mins;
Therese Sjögran (out)
Nazanin Vaseghpanah (in)79 mins;
Jemma Connor -> Stefanie Curtis (53)
Olivia O Toole -> Yvonne Tracy (79)
Yellow cards
None None.
Red cards
None None.
Other statistics
0 Shots 0
0 Shots on goal 0
0 Offsides 0
0 Corner kicks 0
0 Free kicks 0
0 Penalties 0
Match report
Sweden 1 Rep of Ireland 0

Noel King’s Republic of Ireland senior women’s have qualified for the EURO championship play-offs despite losing 1-0 to European super-powers, Sweden in Trelleborg tonight (Wednesday).

Prior to the final group game against the Republic of Ireland, Sweden had scored 30 unanswered goals in their previous seven qualifying games.

A goal from Sweden’s Edlund in the 4th minute proved the decisive winner on the night but the Girls in Green had already qualified for the 10 nations play-off spot after Germany’s 3-0 victory over Switzerland in group 4 meant that Noel King’s side advance to the play-off spots as one of the four third-placed teams with the best record against the rest of the top quartet in their pool.

Despite going a goal down early on, the Irish battled hard and had a number of opportunities to level the scoring. Arsenal star, Ciara Grant almost grabbed an equaliser at the death as she struck a volley inside Sweden’s box, only to see it whizz past the post. Irish midfielder, Michele O’Brien typified Ireland’s performance on the night as she picked up the man of the match accolade in a game which Ireland dominated for large periods.

Prior to the final group game against the Republic of Ireland, Sweden had scored 30 unanswered goals in their previous seven qualifying games.

Speaking directly after the historic result, Irish manager Noel King said, “This is one of the finest performance I have ever seen from this team. Don’t forget that Sweden are one of the best teams in Europe and we had plenty of chances to get a result. It is important to put this game into context, Sweden are currently 3rd in the world with a team brimming with professional athletes while our side have put in so much time and dedication over the past two years and to achieve this level is absolutely brilliant.”

King added; “Prior to 2004, the Irish team were in the second tier team of International football in Europe stage until we were promoted for the World Cup qualifiers for 2006. We finished 4th in that group and our next aim was to finish third and build a steady level of progression for the squad. We have gone further than our expectation with qualification for the play-off and there is no doubt that we will be striving to go even further in the competition and reach the finals in Finland in 2009. There is a silent optimism in the group that we are more than capable of doing that. I cannot stress how much hard work has gone into this qualification campaign, from the players and the backroom staff, especially from our assistant manager, Myles Kelly and coach, Ger Dunne.”

The Irish now go into the UEFA Women’s EURO championship play-off draw on Monday 6th October at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. Already included in the draw are Czech Republic (Group 1 third place); Italy (Group 2 runners-up); Ireland (Group 2 third place); Iceland (Group 3 runners-up); Slovenia (Group 3 third place); Netherlands (Group 4 runners-up); Scotland (Group 5 third place).

The ten-team play-off matches will be played under the home-and-away system on 25/26 and 29/30 October, and the five winners of those ties will join hosts Finland and the six qualifying stage group winners in the final tournament, which takes place from 23 August to 10 September next year.

Republic of Ireland
Emma Byrne - Arsenal
Niamh Fahey - Arsenal
Yvonne Tracy - Arsenal
Alisha Moran - Fulham
Aine O’Gorman - Stella Maris
Meabh de Burca - Salthill Devon
Sonya Hughes - Dundalk
Ciara Grant - Arsenal
Stefanie Curtis - Bristol Rovers
Michele O’Brien - Jesery Sky Blue
Mary Therese McDonnell - Boston Renegades

Substitutes
Lynn Bradley - Raheny United
Sharon Boyle - Raheny United
Stephanie Roche – Dundalk City WFC
Jemma Connor - West Bromwich Albion (on for Treacy)
Denise Thomas – Boston Renegades
Olivia O’Toole - Raheny (on for Curtis)
Ciara McCormack - FC Larvik (Norway)

Manager – Noel King
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