WOMEN’S (SEMI FINAL)
IRELAND………………0 NORTH KOREA……………5
Disappointment for the Ireland women’s side at the World University Games in Naples when they missed out on a place in the Friday’s final going down 5-0 to a to a very impressive North Korea in their semi final tie.
By JOHN HUDSON
Dave Connell’s side had performed brilliantly to get to the penultimate stage with earlier wins over Brazil, South Korea and China but they were unable to make any headway against the strong North Korean’s who produced a devastating performance to beat Amanda McQuillan in the Irish goal five times to add to their 16 goal tally in their earlier wins over Canada, South Africa and hosts Italy.
North Korea squad contained a large representation of their Senior team who are ranked 13th in the Fifa World Rankings, and they proved to be too good for an Irish side who had been the lowest ranked team in this tournament.
Ireland fell behind on fifteen minutes when Hae Yon Ri’s cross found Jong Sim Wi seven yards out and despite McQuillan pulling off a quick reflex save to deny the Korean, Wi tapped the ball in from close range.
Ri doubled the lead for North Korea just before the half-hour mark when Wi returned the favour and slipped in her team mate to slot the ball past McQuillan at the near post.
Megan Smyth-Lynch and Niamh Farrelly tested goalkeeper Yong Sim Yang with a couple of dangerous free kicks before the break as Ireland attempted to get back on terms.
North Korea continued to dominate on the resumption and both Ri and Wi added a goal a piece and So Yon Jon completed the total with a well struck free kick near the finish.
Ireland will continue their quest for a medal when they face either Japan or Russia in the third/fourth place play off on Friday and an opportunity to finish on a high by picking up a the bronze medal.
Ireland: Amanda McQuillan, Lauren Dwyer (Ciara McNamara 62), Shauna Fox, Sadhbh Doyle, Chloe Mustaki, Niamh Farrelly, Lauren Kelly (Gemma McGuinness h-t), Megan Smyth-Lynch (Lynn Craven 55), Jessica Gargan (Lauyrn O’Callaghan 69), Eleanor Ryan-Doyle, Aislinn Meaney.
Referee: Graziella Pirriatorre (Italy)