Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team suffered a narrow defeat to Scotland in their final game ahead of the 2019 World Cup qualification campaign.
n a game of few chances, Ireland suffered an unlikely defeat after Christie Murray headed home in the final five minutes of the match, just Ireland’s second defeat of the year.
Colin Bell’s side never looked like conceding and in fact, Ireland could have gone ahead in the 25th minute. Katie McCabe did brilliantly to keep the ball alive on the left to cross for Diane Caldwell but her header was well blocked.
Scotland were limited to few chances, as they prepare for the European Championships this month, and when they did create, Marie Hourihan did brilliantly in goal.
Three minutes from the break, Scotland’s only clear chance of the half came as Erin Cuthbert headed towards the top corner but Hourihan got across her line brilliantly to deny her.
Ireland started on the front foot after the break and almost took the lead in the 55th minute. Megan Connolly found space in the centre of the park and after side-stepping the defender, unleashed a fierce effort towards the top left-hand corner but it went narrowly wide.
Ireland restricted the home side to few chances until five minutes from time when Murray headed home the only goal of the game. A left-sided cross found Christie Murray rushing in from the wing to direct a low header into the bottom corner.
Colin Bell’s side struggled to create any chances in the final moments of the game but he did hand an international debut to Peamount United’s Heather Payne in the final moments, a fantastic moment for the 17-year old.
Republic of Ireland WNT Head Coach Colin Bell said: “We played well but I’m so disappointed to lose that game, we shouldn’t be losing a game like that.
“It was a poor goal to concede in the final moments and we definitely deserved to get a draw out of the match. The players have come into the game from their holidays and Scotland have been in camp for weeks, but despite that, we should definitely be taking something from the match.
“We look towards that qualification campaign in September and know we can do more to improve. The players have improved since I’ve came in and I’m sure they’ll continue to do that before we start the campaign.”
Republic of Ireland: Hourihan (GK), Scott, Quinn (C), Caldwell, Perry, Duggan, O’Sullivan (Payne 90), Connolly (Kiernan 87), Campbell, O’Gorman, McCabe.
Subs not used: Budden (GK), McQuillan (GK), Fahey, Kavanagh, McLaughlin, Littlejohn, Beirne.