Iceland 3-0 Republic of Ireland (Iceland win 4-1 on aggregate)
Noel King’s Republic of Ireland women’s senior side were defeated by 3-0 by Iceland in the UEFA Women’s EURO 2009, 2nd leg play-off in Iceland last night. Difficult, icy conditions at the Reykjavik venue played a large part for both teams but it was Iceland who adapted better and scored three goals without reply to secure their place at the EURO 2009 finals.
Two goals from Lárusdóttir and one from Vidarsdóttir ensured that the Iceland women‘s team advanced to the UEFA Championship finals in Finland next year at the expense of Ireland who can take great credit for a solid performance in such difficult conditions in Iceland.
Iceland started the game the stronger of the two sides and Irish goalkeeper, Emma Byrne was called into action in the second minute as Iceland striker, Vidarsdóttir struck a half volley from six yards out but Byrne was well placed to palm her shot around the post.
Midfielder, Magnúsdóttir came close for Iceland four minutes later as she made a perfectly timed run from midfield but her header from 15 yards clipped the top of Emma Byrne‘s upright.
Iceland were ahead after 24 minutes through the boot of Dóra María Lárusdóttir who ran on to a half clearance from the Irish defence at the edge of the box, her looping shot dropped dropped under the crossbar to give her side the lead.
The Irish came out after the half-time break with a confident style of play as they pushed up deep and took the game to their opponents. The introduction of Olivia O‘Toole after 52 minutes almost paid off instantly as she got on the end of a long ball and flicked it into the path of Mary Therese McDonnell in the box but the Icelandic keeper was out quick to clear the danger.
As the Irish pushed forward in search of a vital away goal, Iceland started to hit their counterparts on the break but Emma Byrne was in outstanding form in goal as she came to the rescue for the Irish on a number of occassions.
Iceland doubled their lead on the hour mark as midfielder, Lárusdóttir crossed from the right and striker, Vidarsdóttir was on hand at the near post to nod her effort past Byrne to all but end Ireland‘s dream of qualifying for their first major finals.
Iceland wrapped up the scoring after 69 minutes as Lárusdóttir grabbed her second of the night, she ran on to a clever throughball and raced past Irish defender, Meabh de Burcha and as Emma Byrne tried to close down her angle, she cleverly powered the ball into the top left hand corner to make it 3-0.
Republic of Ireland
Emma Byrne, Alisha Moran, Niamh Fahey, Yvonne Treacy, Meabh De Burcha, Mary T McDonnell, Ciara Grant, Jemma O’Connor, Michele O’Brien, Jerseys Sky Blue
Aine O’Gorman, Stefanie Curtis
Substitutes:Olivia O’Toole on for Jemma O’ Connor (52mins), Sonya Hughes on for Meabh de Burca (75 mins), Stephanie Roche on for Stefanie Curtis (85 mins)