Much changed Ireland share spoils with Wales
Republic of Ireland 0-0 Wales
Debut for Sophie Perry
The Republic of Ireland went into the match versus Wales having lost their Algarve cup opener versus Hungary. Head coach, Sue Ronan, made a number of changes for the Welsh game including bringing Arsenal legend, Emma Byrne, back into the starting line-up and handing the veteran goalkeeper the captain’s armband. Only Megan Campbell and Aine O’Gorman remained from the side that lost the first match as players were given a chance to impress before the qualifier versus Scotland next month.
Wales had won their first match and knew that a draw would put them in prime position to head to the top of the group. It took 15 minutes for the first clear cut chance and it went to the Welsh women as some good interplay saw Gwennan Harris advance one on one with Emma Byrne but the Irish captain proved equal to it tipping her effort around the post. Ireland grew into the game as the match progressed and Grace Murray was unlucky not to break the deadlock as her thunderbolt cannoned back off the Welsh crossbar.
The second half of the match was a tense affair as both teams searched for the opening.
Sue Ronan introduced Niamh Fahey midway through the second half but the reigning Senior Women’s International player of the year could not provide the spark needed to claim a winner and the game finished 0-0.
Head coach, Sue Ronan, has taken full advantage of the Algarve Cup to explore the options available to her for the rest of the Euro 2013 qualifiers and has had the opportunity to run the rule over most of the player in her squad already. The next match for Ireland takes place on Monday, March 5th when they take on tournament hosts, Portugal, in Faro.
Republic of Ireland
Emma Byrne (c), Grace Murray, Megan Campbell, Aine O’Gorman, Julie Anne Russell, Shannon Smyth, Diane Caldwell, Michelle O’Brien, Dora Gorman, Sophie Perry, Marie Curtin.
Substitutions: Fahey for Curtin 65’