|The Republic of Ireland women’s Under-17 team defeated Greece on Monday afternoon to top their UEFA Women’s Under-17 European Championship Qualifying Round group.|
Ireland secured a 5-0 win over Greece at the Alytus Stadium in Lithuania to make it three wins from three for Head Coach James Scott’s side.
The team had already qualified for the Elite Round of the competition having defeated Albania 10-0 and hosts Lithuania 6-0 previously.
However, Scott explained that the squad were keen to ensure they topped the group and were determined to finish the round with another win.
Scott said: “Even though we had already qualified, we were determined to top the group and I think we can say we did it in style after today”.
Greece set up to stop Ireland from scoring and that worked well for most of the first half, but a stunning goal from 30 yards by Sion Swifts striker Kerry Brown broke the deadlock in additional time of the first half to put Ireland 1-0 up at the break.
And there was no coming back for the Greeks after that, as Ireland went on to score four goals by four different players in the second half to finish well-ahead at the top of the group.
Goals number two and three for Ireland came from excellent Aoibheann Clancy corners – the first she put away herself on 60 minutes, while captain Della Doherty got on the end of another on the 74th to make it 3-0.
While in the last three minutes of the tie, substitutes Kate O’Dowd and Becky Watkins made their impact scoring on the 87th and 90th minutes respectively.
Speaking after the game, Scott was emphatic in his praise for the work both players and staff put in over the Qualifying Round.
He said: “We are absolutely elated with how the Round has gone for us. We’ve topped the group scoring 21 goals and conceding none, we couldn’t have asked for better than that. The girls have been absolutely top-class over the period. I have to give a lot of credit to their coaches at home at their clubs for the work they do with them week-in, week-out. The girls are a credit to them.
“Also the staff that were over here with us were impeccable, I couldn’t have asked for any more from them. They were excellent. And credit also goes to Richie Berkeley and Sue Ronan who had these girls in the younger groups, they were extremely well prepared for this competition.”
Republic of Ireland: Leah Hayes; Kate Slevin, Therese Kinnevey, Shauna Brennan; Aoibheann Clancy (Olivia Gibson 80’), Della Doherty, Muireann Devaney, Ellen Molloy (Kate O’Dowd 58’); Erin McLaughlin (Laura Shine 66’), Kerry Brown (Aimee Crosbie Bates 80’), Aoife Horgan (Becky Watkins 58’).
Greece: Anna-Maria Panagiotopoulou; Maria Kokmotou (Vasiliki Katsanou 82′), Dimitra Savvidou, Georgia Pavlopoulou, Aikaterini Papageorgiou, Katerina Niavradaki (Olga Baxevanou 46′), Konstantina Skoteinioti (Georgia Koskeridou 89′), Dimitra Markoutsa (Paschalina-Rafaella Touretzoglou 77′), Ioanna Papatheodorou, Anastasia Avramoglou (Mariana Katopodi 89′), Vasiliki Giannaka.
Referee: Victoria Beyer (France).
UEFA Women’s Under-17 Championship Qualifying Round Results
10 September: Ireland 10-0 Albania
13 September: Lithuania 0-6 Ireland
16 September: Greece 0-5 Ireland