Football

Watch: Irish Girls Euro U17 Qualifying Tilt Starts With Norway Draw

Watch: Irish Girls Euro U17 Qualifying Tilt Starts With Norway Draw

Whilst their U19 male counterparts had it pretty much their own way in Russia this afternoon, the Ireland U17 women had things a little tougher when they met their Norwegian counterparts in this evening's opening salvo in their bid to qualify for May's Euro U17 championships in Bulgaria.

Colin Bell's 20 strong panel for the Elite Group Four Qualifiers with Norway, favourites Germany and hosts Scotland was named last week and boasted 19 girls plying their trade with local clubs - the one exception being German-born sensation Emily Kraft, who plays for Frankfurt.

Going into this evenings match at the National Performance Centre in Edinburgh, the Irish contingent had already had front row seats to rivals Germany dismantling the hosts in the curtain raiser scoring four first half goals in a game that ended 5-0 in the end.

Given the nature of the three-game qualifying mini-series, that emphatic result put pressure on tonight's two competing sides to capture all three points, something which neither side, in the end, was fit to do.

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After a goalless first half, the Irish girls hit the front with twenty minutes remaining when Shelbourne's Rebecca Cooke put the Girls in Green ahead,

Their lead was short-lived, however, as Norway pulled level having been awarded a penalty within seconds of the restart. Joshualyn Reeves converting for the Scandinavian outfit.

The Irish girls will be back to the indoor venue to face-up to the daunting task of taking on the Germans on Saturday afternoon. Should they come away from that game with a result, qualification could be within their grasp heading into next Tuesday's clash with Scotland at Ainslie Park.

Aaron Strain

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