Ireland 1 Russia 3
Ireland’s hopes of making next year’s women’s World Cup in Canada are in tatters after Russia raided Tallaght stadium.
Denied a famous draw with European champions Germany last month, coach Sue Roan aimed to collect four points from a possible six against the Russians.
The girls in green started slowly and found themselves two down within 12 minutes handing Russia every chance of grabbing World Cup qualifying group one’s play-off berth. Russia opened the scoring on seven minutes after going the length of the pitch from an Irish corner with Dora Gorman conceding a corner for the stretched Irish.
Ekeaterina Sochneva rose unchallenged to glance past Emma Byrne and a static Irish defence from Elena Morozova’s second corner in succession.
It got far worse for the hosts six minutes later as the visitors carved Ireland open down the right flank with Ekaterina Pantyukhina sliding home. Ireland were rocked with small mistakes evident everywhere throughout the team.
Stephanie Roche’s introduction coincided with Russia replacing their goalkeeper. Gradually Ireland worked their way back into the game after Roche’s 23rd minute introduction as Ronan required the Youtube’s sensation’s inspiration.
Galway winger Julie Anne Russell creating Ireland’s first meaningful opening on 31 minutes, crossing from the by-line, Aine O’Gorman unable to reach with her head. Russia where unable to prevent O’Gorman the creator on 33 minutes as she pinned the ball up for Denise O’Sullivan to riffle a volley home.
Emma Byrne was left scrambling across the goal on 40 minutes when Elena Medved held off the challenges to scoop her shot just wide.
Russia restored their two goal advantage just before the break as the Irish defence crumbled for the third occasion. Sophie Perry’s poor header from Sochneva’s weak cross fell to Ekaterina Pantyukhina to volley home, giving Ireland’s skipper Emma Byrne no chance.
Bus Eireann Women’s national league player of the year Julie Anne Russell showed tricky to test Kovhneva on the stroke of half time.
Ronan introduced Raheny United winger Siobhan Killeen after 70 minutes to attempt to resurrect a tame Irish second half performance. Stephanie Roche’s excellent volley cannoned off the cross bar six minutes later with Fiona O’Sullivan heading the resulting corner just wide of the post.
Russia who conceded nine goals to Germany on the opening night of fixtures used their six woman midfield to kill the game and take all three points.
Ireland: Byrne, DeBurca, Quinn, Caldwell, Perry, A O’Gorman (Killeen 70), Gorman (Roche 23), Smyth, Russell (Littlejohn 88), D O’Sullivan, F O’Sullivan
Subs Not Used: Reid-Burke, Tracy, Duggan, Grant.
Russia: Todua (Kochneva 23), Dmitrenko, Tsybutovich, Orlova, Terkhova, Sidorovskaya (Makarenko 85), Petrova, Medved, Morozova (Korovkima 89), Sochneva, Pantyukihna.
Subs Not Used: Pushareva, Tsidikova, Akimova, Kostareva.
Referee: Thalia Misti (Greece)