05.04.2012 at 15:00 Tynecastle
Referee: K. Kulcsar (Hungary)
European Qualifier / PROG-match
SCOTLAND 2-1 REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
100th cap for Ciara Grant
The Republic of Ireland led in their 2013 Women's UEFA Championship qualifier against Scotland for eighty minutes at Tynecastle only for a brace of goals to undo them.
Group 4 has developed an intriguing battle between three familiar nations for second spot behind leaders and favourites France.
Ireland went into the fixture two points ahead of Scotland and Wales, an important statistic in the context of the chase for that runners-up place and, with it, probable progress into the play-offs for the 2013 European Championships in Sweden.
Therefore, three points were a must for Scotland and it appeared to be angling Ireland's way when Denise O'Sullivan headed the visitors ahead after only four minutes.
Megan Campbell was the creator by sending a free-kick near the half-way line into the area and there to knock it home was Cork teenager Denise O'Sullivan.
For all the pressure the Scots applied in attempting to turn the fixture, Ireland held firm with the aid of several key blocks inside the penalty area by Megan Campbell, Sophie Perry and captain Ciara Grant, on the occasion of her 100th cap.
Luck appeared to be on Ireland's side when Kim Little was unable to make the awarding of a penalty count on 61 minutes. Her Arsenal teammate guessed correctly and saved low down to her right.
Still, the home side persevered and eventually got their equaliser four minutes from full-time.
Substitute Leanne Ross delivered a corner and full-back Rhonda Jones got the connection with her head to beat Byrne high into the top corner.
Just as Ireland were absorbing that set-back, it got worse as Scottish substitute Christie Murray seized upon a loose Ireland pass from the restart and looped a shot from 30 yards over the head of Byrne and into the net.
Ireland had a penalty claim rejected in stoppage time when substitute Ruesha Littlejohn was sent sprawling inside the box.
Next up for Ireland is a friendly in Switzerland next month before the UEFA qualifying campaign resumes on June 16 with a home game against Wales, five days before they welcome Scotland in the return tie.
SCOTLAND: G. Fay (Celtic); R. Jones (Celtic), R. Corsie (Glasgow City), I. Dieke (Vittsjo GIK), R. Small (Forfar Farmington); S. Grant (Celtic), J. Love (Glasgow City), M. Snedden (Celtic), H. Lauder (Aland United); K. Little (Arsenal), J. Ross (Glasgow City),
Subs: L. Ross (Glasgow City) for Grant (11 mins), C. Murray (Glasgow City) for Love (61 mins), L. Evans (Glasgow City) for Lauder (65 mins),
REP OF IRELAND: E. Byrne (Arsenal); S. Perry (Chelsea), M. Campbell (Raheny United), L. Quinn (Peamount United), MT. McDonnell (Chicago Red Stars); S. Smyth (Amazon Grimstad FK) C. Grant (Arsenal), N. Fahey (Arsenal); A. O'Gorman (Doncaster Belles), D. O'Sullivan (Cork), JA Russell (Doncaster Belles).
Subs: M. O'Brien (Chicago Red Eleven) for Russell (59 mins), F. O'Sullivan (Soyaux ASJ) for D. O'Sullivan, R. Littlejohn (Liverpool) for Smyth (88 mins)
REFEREE: K. Kulcsar (Hungary)