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Republic Of Ireland Edged By Sweden In Tallaght With Unfortunate Own Goal

Republic Of Ireland Edged By Sweden In Tallaght With Unfortunate Own Goal
Jonathan Byrne
By Jonathan Byrne
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Just over four thousand made it out to Tallaght Stadium in Dublin to see the Republic of Ireland's Group A opener against Sweden.

It was a milestone week for the team that saw them strike up another sponsorship. They were greeted by the fourth highest crowd for a women's soccer game in Ireland, despite restrictions.

It was always going to be a tough task against the Number 2 ranked team in the world. Sweden were relentless in dominating the ball for most of the game.

Vera Pauw's side defended well and goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan kept the score line to a narrow margin. A deflected Louise Quinn own goal in the first-half the only separation of the sides.

1-0 might not look like a bad result, but with Finland winning easily against Georgia earlier in the day, all eyes will be on their meeting in Helsinki next week.

The First-Half

The Swedes dominated the possession from the start, which became a narrative for much of the game. They didn't have much luck in the Irish box early on.

Courtney Brosnan kept out a few easy strikes from the Swedish front three, with Stina Blackstenius causing the most problems for Ireland's defense.


Blackstenius got the better of Niamh Fahey inside the first ten minutes and ran through on goal, but her shot amongst the other Swedish chances didn't threaten.

Ireland's first chance came in the ninth minute as Katie McCabe teed up a shot from outside the box, only to strike the ball well wide of the post.

Chances were building for Sweden as the minutes progressed. The visitors had a penalty call in the 18th minute as Jamie Finn lunged in on Blackstenius but no whistle was sounded.


The girls in green did have a few chances of their own thereafter as they enjoyed their best passage of play. Heather Payne and Katie McCabe looking the most dangerous for the home side.

In the 35th minute, keeper Courtney Brosnan pulled off an acrobatic save after a fine shot from Sweden's Filippa Angeldal from well outside the box.

But the deadlock was broken with a few minutes to go before half-time. Blackstenius would have her dance finally, as a deflected shot off Louise Quinn ended up in the Irish net. 0-1.



The Second-Half

Neither team came out quickly from the blocks but Katie McCabe had a nice bit of skill that led to Swedish stalwart Sofia Jakobsson picking up a yellow for a foul.

McCabe would be the catalyst for most of the Irish attacks but her crosses weren't met with much. Soon after, Lina Hurtig had to go off for the visitors after receiving treatment.

Sweden then began to dominate the ball again and Ireland found themselves defending inside their own box to try to keep the score line from getting out of reach.

Áine O'Gorman and Louise Quinn's efforts kept the Swedes out, including a fine save by Courtney Brosnan in the 72nd minute from Fridolina Rolfö.

Substitutions came then for Ireland as Leanne Kieran and Amber Barrett came on for Heather Payne and Jamie Finn. Brosnan was called upon again sending the ball away from a corner.

Kiernan proved to be an impact substitution, causing the Swedish defense some hassle in the later stages. She won a corner inside the final ten that led to an Irish chance.

Louise Quinn was then deployed as a striker to deal with the high balls coming to the Irish attackers, and she nearly put through Denise O'Sullivan at one stage.

O'Sullivan picked up an elbow injury in the latter stages and there were calls for an Irish penalty. The teams went back and forth in the six minutes of added team but it stayed 1-0.

The Republic of Ireland now turn their attention to their second Group A World Cup Qualifying game, as they take on the undefeated Finland in Helsinki on Tuesday.

See Also: Ireland Midfielder Jack Taylor's First Goal Of The Season Worth The Wait

jack taylor goal peterborough hull


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