Republic of Ireland u-17 women European championship qualifier

Shels and Rovers combine for Ireland

by Aaron Dunne
0 comment

The Republic of Ireland secured a huge three points in League A Group three of the qualifiers for the Women’s Under 17s European Championship as they defeated Finland 3-2 at Seaview in Belfast on Monday afternoon.

Goals from Shelbourne’s Aoife Kelly, Shamrock Rovers’ Ruby Gallagher and Donegal Women’s League’s Jodie Loughrey helped Ireland secure the win and bounce back from their disappointing 1-0 loss to Austria in the opening game of the campaign.

The Irish started brightly and they took the lead with just 10 minutes on the clock thanks to Kelly, who cleverly stabbed Loughrey’s dangerous free kick past the goalkeeper at her near post. Ireland continued to control proceedings and they deservedly doubled their lead just shy of the half an hour mark.

24 October 2022; Ruby Gallagher of Republic of Ireland celebrates with Hannah Healy, right, after scoring their side’s second goal during the 2022/23 UEFA Women’s U17 European Championship Qualifiers Round 1 match between Republic of Ireland and Finland at Seaview in Belfast.
Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

The Finnish, to their credit, refused to let their heads drop and they halved the deficit just six minutes later when striker Steffi Hassinen raced onto a smart quick throw before firing past Keane from inside the penalty area. James Scott’s side quickly regrouped though and they restored their two-goal advantage shortly before the half time break.

When Loughrey poked the ball home from a couple of yards out after Aoibhe Flemming’s initial header from a corner was blocked on the line.

A tame second period would follow that enthralling first as Ireland kept possession in an effort to just see out the game.

They would do just that but not without suffering a couple of late scares as Hassinen would hit the far right post when through one on one with the keeper before captain Milja Kiviranta blasted the ball into the top left corner from the penalty spot with eight minutes remaining.

But the Republic would hang on to the three points and their attention now turns to their decisive next match on Thursday afternoon against host nation and neighbours Northern Ireland in Seaview with kick-off set for 2 pm.

Ireland’s Jodie Loughrey scores her side’s third goal during the 2022/23 UEFA Women’s U17 European Championship Qualifiers Round 1 match between Republic of Ireland and Finland at Seaview in Belfast; left Ruby Gallagher celebrates with Hannah Healy, right, after scoring the second goal.

24 October 2022; Jodie Loughrey of Republic of Ireland scores her side’s third goal during the 2022/23 UEFA Women’s U17 European Championship Qualifiers Round 1 match between Republic of Ireland and Finland at Seaview in Belfast.

Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Related Articles