[team1]Republic of Ireland [/team1][score1]4[/score1][team2]Northern Ireland [/team2][score2]0[/score2][/score]
Colin Bell has challenged his Republic of Ireland women’s side to break their major tournament drought after they completed their World Cup campaign on a high last night.
Leanne Kiernan and captain Katie McCabe each scored twice as Ireland easily overcome Northern Ireland at Tallaght Stadium.
Qualification for next year’s tournament in France was already beyond Bell’s side, following three defeats in a row, but they finished the eight-game series having won half their matches.
“We play Poland in a friendly in October which is the start of the build-up for the Euro 2021 campaign,” Bell said.
There are areas to improve on but I’m fully confident that this group can bring Ireland to our first-ever major tournament.
Just three minutes in, Diane Caldwell’s lofted pass from her own half released Kiernan who waited for Jacqueline Burns to advance before lobbing the bouncing ball over her head.
Kiernan’s pace once again saw her get in behind the defence on 12 minutes and hercut-back allowed Tyler Toland to fire in a 20-yard shot.
Burns did well to reach the effort but her spill fell to Jarrett, who laid the ball back for McCabe to find the top corner with a rising shot.
After having a volley ruled out for offside soon after, recent West Ham United recruit Kiernan bagged her second on 27 minutes. It was all too easy for Ireland and the second half was equally one-sided.
However, McCabe’s converted penalty on 58 minutes, stroked down the middle of the goal after Harriet Scott was bundled over by Burns, was all they had to show for their dominance.
A Budden (Cork City); H Payne (Bristol City), D Caldwell (SC Sand), N Fahey (Liverpool), L Quinn (Arsenal), H Scott (Birmingham City); D O’Sullivan (NC Courage), T Toland (Maiden City), K McCabe (Arsenal); L Kiernan (West Ham), R Jarrett (Wexford Youths).
K Duggan (Peamount Utd) for Toland (61mins), J Ziu (Shelbourne) for Jarrett (77 mins), A Barrett (Peamount Utd) for Kiernan (88 mins).
J Burns (Carson Newman); B Simpson (Cliftonville), L Raffety (Brighton), J Nelson (Crusaders), J Foy (Glentoran): C Milligan (Glentoran), S McFadden (Durham), M Callaghan (Cliftonville), L Wade (unattached); K Montgomery (Motherwell); S McGill (Everton).
M Bell (Linfield) for Montgomery (62 mins), R McKenna (Linfield) for Wade (72 mins), F Holdaway (Crystal Palace) for McFadden (74 mins).
Angelika Soeder (GER)