Shelbourne’s euro run ends in Slovenia

by Aaron Dunne
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Shelbourne saw their UEFA Women’s Champions League journey end on Sunday afternoon after losing 3-0 to Valur in the Champions Path Final in Slovenia.

The SSE Airtricity Women’s National League champions started brightly and should have done better with a free-kick inside the opposition’s penalty area early on. Chances on goal were scarce after that.

The small contingent of travelling Shelbourne supporters inside the Mestni Stadion Fazanerija were vocal throughout and the players kept them enthused with a solid defensive performance right up until they conceded the first goal.

Valur, who are the reigning Icelandic champions, took the lead on 20 minutes when Shels failed to clear a corner kick and the ball fell to Cyera Hintzen who headed an effort off the crossbar and then hooked in the rebound.

It was a soft goal to concede but Valur showed their class with their second just before the interval when a neat pass set Solveig Johannesdottir away, she cut inside and fired a shot under the body of goalkeeper Amanda Budden.

Any attempt to mount a fightback in the second half was pretty much extinguished within a minute of the restart when Elisa Vidarsdottir somehow managed to get her cross-come-shot into the back of the net from a tight angle.

Shels didn’t give up and Jessie Stapleton tried her luck on goal. But Budden was the busier of the two keepers and she was forced to pull off a couple of saves. The shot-stopper was sent off – for a second bookable offence – after the final whistle for words directed at the referee.

Noel King’s (inset) side must now switch their focus back to defending their WNL title and advancing in the FAI Women’s Cup as the cruel reality is that they are out of Europe after just one loss.

The Reds are back in WNL action on Saturday night when they travel to Eamonn Deacy Park to take on Galway WFC in a game that will be live on TG4 from 19:35.

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