While most of the nation focuses on the men’s senior side’s European Championship qualifier with Andorra on Tuesday, the Republic of Ireland under 17 women’s team have gotten their World Cup campaign underway in Trinidad and Tobago.
Noel King’s side put in a good showing in their opening group game against Brazil, but went down by two goals to one.
Playing in very warm conditions in the Larry Gomes Stadium, the Irish got off to a horror start when striker Glaucia gave the Brazilians the lead after just six minutes. Indeed, they would have built on that lead in the first half were it not for some excellent goalkeeping from Grace Maloney.
Ireland’s only really chance of note in the opening period came from Megan Campbell’s free kick but it never troubled Daniele in the Brazil goal. Their opponents continued to pose a strong attacking threat with Beatriz failing to finish from close range.
Ireland drew level in the second half having come out from the break fired up. Aileen Gilroy played a low cross into Siobhan Killeen on the left hand side and the Raheny United player fired home low into the corner of the net.
However the sides weren’t level for long and just two minutes later the South Americans restored their lead as Glaucia grabbed her second of the game. This time she turned superbly in the box and sent a looping shot past Moloney for what proved to be the winning goal.
Next up for Ireland is a game against Canada on Thursday before their final group game against Ghana which takes place on Monday.
Republic of Ireland: 1. Grace Moloney, 2. Ciara O’Brien, 3. Megan Campbell, 4. Jessica Gleeson, 5. Jennifer Byrne, 6. Ciara Grant, 7. Aileen Gilroy, 8. Dora Gorman, 9. Denise O’Sullivan, 10. Siobhan Killeen, 11. Stacie Donnelly.
Substitutes: 9. Zoe Boyd, 13. Rianna Jarrett, 14. Tanya Kennedy, 15. Kerry Glynn, 16. Amanda Budden, 17. Claire Shine, 18. Harriet Scott, 19. Rebecca Kearney, 20. Jillian Maloney, 21. Emma Hansberry.
Brazil: 1. Daniele, 3. Ingrid, 4. Caroline, 5. Lucimara, 6. Roberta, 8. Andressa, 10. Beatriz, 11. Thais, 15. Glaucia, 16. Jucinara, 20. Luana.
Substitutes: 2. Tainara, 7. Benicia, 9. Paula, 12. Leticia, 13. Lilian, 14. Rayanne, 17. Bianca, 18. Naomi, 19. Tatiane, 21. Nicole.