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10.10.2011 at 15:00 Attendance:
Womens International Under 17 3 - 2 Romania
Referee: European Qualifier / r-match

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Match report
Irish U17s battle past Romania
Created on Monday, 10 October 2011 16:35

Republic of Ireland U17 3 - 2 Romania
Claire Shine Goal 57
Kate McCabe pen 76 Goal 90
Gemma McGuinness 79

The Republic of Ireland women's U17 side kicked-off their UEFA Championship first qualifying phase with a hard earned 3-2 victory over Romania today. Claire Shine, Katie McCabe and Gemma McGuinness all secured the three points for Harry Kenny's side while in the groups other game, Italy defeated group hosts, FYR Macedonia 6-0 and the Azzurri now top the table on goal difference.

After a commanding start for Harry Kenny's side, captain Claire Shine opened the scoring in the 15th minute but Ireland were made to battle to hold on to their lead until half-time as Romania went in search of an equaliser.

Romania got their just rewards 57th minute with the equalising goal through Alexandra Lunca. In a frantic finish to the game, Ireland secured the three points with two quick-fire goals within five minutes in the dying moments with a Katie McCabe penalty while Gemma McGuinness all but secured the win with her strike in the 79th minute.

McCabe was on-hand to slot the penalty past Niculescu in Romania's goal in the 76th after substitute, Amber Barrett was fouled in the box by Roxana Prunean.

Substitute, Gemma McGuinness put Ireland out of reach with her goal with just one minute left but Romania pulled a goal back in the third minute of extra-time through Alexandra Nica but her strike proved to be the final kick of the game as Ireland march on to the second game with the all-important three points.

With only one team guaranteed their place in the second qualifying phase, the next two games will prove pivotal to Ireland chances of progressing. Ireland will now face Macedonia on October 12 and will finish the first qualifying phase with a mouth-watering meeting with Italy at the Kukuš Stadium in Strumica on October 15. While the group winner will automatically book their place in the elite qualifying phase, there are also four runners-up places available with the best record against the first and third-placed teams.

Republic of Ireland: Jillian Maloney, Shauna Newman, Ciara Rossiter, Ciara O'Connell, Mary Fitzpatrick, Chloe Mustaki, Caroline Healy, Lauren Boles, Michelle Farrell, Clare Shine (C), Katie McCabe

Substitutes: Courtney Brosnan (GK), Amber Barrett (on for Farrell, 60 mins), Sarah Rowe, Gemma McGuinness (on for Healy, 50 mins), Lauren Dwyer, Ann Monaghan, Amy O'Connor (on for Mustaki, 71 mins).
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