Fantastic Irish U19’s women secure European Championship semi-final spot

Fantastic Irish U19’s women secure European Championship semi-final spot

Republic of Ireland 2 Sweden 1

The Republic of Ireland Women’s Under 19’s secured a third straight win in the UEFA European Championships by beating Sweden 2-1 tonight to reach the semi-finals.

They produced another remarkable display at the UKI Arena, Jessheim, thanks to goals from Savannah McCarthy and Megan Connolly to follow up on the wins over Spain and England.

Fantastic Irish U19’s women secure European Championship semi-final spot

It wasn’t a great start for Dave Connell’s team as Sweden took the lead after just eight minutes when captain Julia Wahlberg ran onto a through ball and fired in from a tight angle.

Typical of this Ireland team though, they set about responding straight away. With Chloe Mustaki leading by example in midfield and the momentum started to swing towards the girls in green.

Clever running off the ball from Katie McCabe, Sarah Rowe, and Amy O’Connor pulled Sweden away from their central base, while Grace Wright and Keeva Keenan got forward from full-back.

Fantastic Irish U19’s women secure European Championship semi-final spot

The only thing missing was a measured pass and Connolly provided it on 21 minutes.

A free-kick inside her own half didn’t look like being a threat, but she picked out McCarthy to head in.

Sweden goalkeeper Zecira Musovic couldn’t get near McCarthy’s looping header, but she did well to deny McCabe two minutes later when the Raheny United attacker unleashed a shot at goal.

With temperatures soaring at pitch level, referee Zuzana Kovacova called for a cooling break on the half hour and it was more of the same from Ireland once play resumed.

A shot from distance from Julia Anna Ekholm tested the alertness of keeper Brooke Dunne, although Connell’s team finished the first half on top.

Fantastic Irish U19’s women secure European Championship semi-final spot

Sweden - who needed a win by a two-goal margin - tried to score again with Ekholm firing at Dunne again, however Ireland’s held their opponents at bay and they used the ball well.

A second goal was next on the wishlist and Connolly supplied it on 80 minutes.

After McCabe earned a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area, the Cork native curled in an astounding effort via the underside of the crossbar.

Ireland then held on to record a huge win and they will be back in action on Thursday against Netherlands, where they will be prepared to write another chapter in history as the final is only one more game away.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Dunne; Keenan, O’Connell, McCarthy, Wright; Connolly, Mustaki, Dwyer; Rowe (Shine 58), O’Connor, McCabe (Carson 88).

SWEDEN: Musovic; Ekholm, Bjorn, E Karlsson, N Karlsson; Andersson (Angeldal 76), Hurtig, Wahlberg, Curmark (Okvist h-t); Blackstenius, Olme (Jansson 70).

REFEREE: Zuzana Kovacova (Slovakia).

More in this Section

What Manchester City’s European ban could mean for clubWhat Manchester City’s European ban could mean for club

Leaders Leinster storm to victory over CheetahsLeaders Leinster storm to victory over Cheetahs

Hoops claim dramatic victory in Dublin derby despite difficult conditionsHoops claim dramatic victory in Dublin derby despite difficult conditions

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer calls for United to win at Chelsea to boost top-four hopesOle Gunnar Solskjaer calls for United to win at Chelsea to boost top-four hopes


Lifestyle

AS Joaquin Phoenix rose to the podium to collect his Academy Award for Best Actor, ears were peeled as the actor made his speech about inequality and our disconnect with the natural world.Paul McLauchlan: Leading men lead the way on Oscars red carpet

She’s the Cork singer dubbed the next Kate Bush, shortlisted by Universal, the world’s biggest record label, as their artist to watch in 2020. This will be the year of Lyra, writes Ed PowerLyra: Meet the new Kate Bush - and she's from Cork

For relationships to endure, we need to be loving not just on Valentine’s Day but all year round, a Buddhist teacher tells Marjorie BrennanOpen hearts: The Buddhist approach to love and loving

More From The Irish Examiner