Republic of Ireland 0-2 Germany
A strong Germany side took the spoils, defeating the Republic of Ireland Women’s Under-17 team 2-0, in Edinburgh on Saturday.
However, the Irish side can take a lot of positives from the Elite Round qualifying game, as they held their own for long periods of the tie at the National Performance Centre.
Jessica Ziu and Emily Whelan had both had chances for Colin Bell’s side in the first half hour before Germany took the lead when Nicole Woldmann got on the end of a Gia Corley corner.
Despite Germany having more chances before the break, the score remained 1-0 at half-time.
Both sides made changes at the start of the second-half, with Lauren Egbuloniu coming on for forward, Blessing Kingsley.
Irish keeper Courtney Maguire had plenty of work on her hands in the second half, but the Shelbourne player put in a solid display making good saves throughout.
But on the 62nd minute, Natasha Kowalski followed up on a missed Sophie Weidauer shot and put her side ahead 2-0.
Sophie Liston and Erin McLaughlin were brought into the fold for Egbuloniu and Jessica Ziu, but Ireland couldn’t get one back and Germany ran out 2-0 winners on the afternoon.
Speaking straight after the game, Bell was feeling positive about the performance of his young team.
“I thought in the first half, the game was very even. We were tactically very good and had two very good chances where we could have had two goals. However, unfortunately after that we conceded from another corner after an individual error, which was obviously disappointing,” said Bell.
“We then had a difficult task in the second half as they were already ahead. We kept it tight, and frustrated the Germans at times, but we needed to capitalise on those chances we had in the first halt. I think we put in a very good performance against one of the top teams in Europe.
“They won the competition two years ago and always do well at this level. So we can take a lot from the game and our squad will have learned a lot about how well they can do in these circumstances.”
Thoughts now move to final game of the group, where Scotland will be the opponents at Ainslie Park on Tuesday, March 26 at 14:30.
Republic of Ireland: Courtney Maguire; Therese Kinnevey, Shauna Brennan, Eabha O’Mahony, Orla Prendergast, Emily Whelan, Aoibheann Clancy, Blessing Kingsley (Lauren Egbuloniu 46 (Sophie Liston 84)), Jessica Ziu (Erin McLaughlin 64), Rebecca Cooke, Zara Foley.
Germany: Pauline Carlotta Nelles; Jule Brand, Julia Pollak (Samantha Kühne 78), Madeleine Steck, Emilie Bernhardt, Lisanne Gräwe, Nicole Woldmann (Carlotta Wamser 46), Spohie Weidauer, Gia Corley (Livinia Seifert 79), Gentiana Fetaj (Marleen Rohde 59), Leonie Weber (Marleen Rohde 59).
Referee: Ifeoma Kulmala (Finland).