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Brady double helps WU19s overcome Serbian resistance

Republic of Ireland 4-0 Serbia

Republic of Ireland Women’s Under-19s continued their fine form in the UEFA Women’s European Under-19 Championship Elite Round with a  4-0 win over Serbia in Spain.

Ireland broke the deadlock after 20-minutes. Midfielder Tiegan Ruddy (above, left) won the ball in midfield, and found herself in loads of space to score from 25-yards out. Her shot flew into the bottom-left corner, easily beating Sara Cetinja.

Serbia were unlucky not to equalise five-minutes later. Lana Colic’s shot hit the crossbar, and dropped into the six-yard box. After a goalmouth scramble, both Roisin McGovern and Sadhbh Doyle helped clear the ball.

Striker Kelly Brady (above, centre) was introduced at half-time and the substitution paid off when the striker doubled Ireland’s lead just before the hour-mark. Brady’s pace caused too much trouble for the Serbian defence, and she did brilliantly to finish a pass from Alannah McEvoy.

The three points were wrapped up in the final ten minutes when Megan Mackey’s (above, right) shot from outside the box flew into the top corner. The icing on the cake, came in added time when Brady scored her second to cap off a fine day.

Speaking after the game, Head Coach Dave Connell was delighted with how the side performed, especially in the second-half.

“It was a great win. The first-half was very even, and we got a lovely goal that settled us. I thought our performance in the second-half was probably the best we ever played. Really, really brilliant. It sets us up nicely.”

The team go into Tuesday’s game against Spain in a strong position, and a draw may be enough to send the team to the Finals this July in Scotland.

Connell knows that they will have their work cut out against the reigning European champions.

“Spain are very good. We set out at the start, that we wanted a finale against Spain. I think we can beat them. The girls do too.”

Republic of Ireland: Rachael Kelly, Rachel Kelly, Roisin McGovern, Sadhbh Doyle, Lucia Lobato (Katie Burdis 88); Tiegan Ruddy (Sinead Donovan 64), Megan Mackey (capt), Niamh Reynolds (Chloe Singleton 64); Heather Payne, Carla McManus (Kelly Brady 46), Alannah McEvoy (Keelin McEntee 88)

Serbia: Sara Cetinja; Andjela Krstic, Jovana Miladinovic, Dunja Mostarac, Andjela Frajtovic (capt); Milica Bulatovic, Ivana, Trbojevic, Emilija Zivkovic (Maja Ciric 56), Sara Savanovic (Biljana Ilic 72); Lana Colic, Nikolina Plavsic

Referee: Graziella Pirriatore (ITA)

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