Republic of Ireland 0
THE Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team have now lost seven games in a row - their worst ever losing streak - as they were beaten 2-0 by Iceland at their national stadium in Reykjavík on Tuesday evening.
Cork City’s Éabha O’Mahony was awarded for her excellent second-half performance against Iceland last Thursday - her cross created their first goal - with her first start for Ireland in her third senior appearance but she couldn’t prevent her country from falling to another defeat.
Vera Pauw made four changes from her side that was beaten 3-2 in that meeting last week and O’Mahony was joined in the starting eleven by fellow Cork natives Denise O’Sullivan and Megan Connolly, while Saoirse Noonan was named on the substitutes bench.
The Girls in Green were 3-0 down at the break four days previous but they fared much better this time around and could’ve been a couple of goals up themselves.
O’Sullivan released Amber Barrett inside the penalty area with an exquisite through ball just past the half an hour mark but the striker could only curl the ball wide of the far post.
Iceland are currently 17th in the FIFA World Rankings, which is 17 places above the Girls in Green (34th), and they have qualified for the 2022 UEFA Women’s European Championships.
They finally threatened moments later but after racing on to a long pass over the top of the defence, forward Berglind Bjorg Þorvaldsdóttir could only drill her shot straight at Courtney Brosnan.
Connolly almost broke the deadlock with a stunning strike shortly before the interval but her half volley from distance was brilliantly turned wide of the bottom right corner by Cecilia Ran Runarsdottir.
The hosts ought to have taken the lead at the beginning of the second period but under pressure from O’Mahony, Sveindis Jane Jonsdottir scuffed her shot with only Brosnan to beat.
But they would edge in front on 54 minutes when Þorvaldsdóttir bundled home a cross from close range moments before Jonsdottir somehow failed to add a second as she fired her rebound over an empty net.
This was the Republic’s final warm-up game before their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign begins with a trip to Georgia in September.
But their hopes of ending their losing run before that journey ended late on as Karolina Lea Vilhjalmsdottir drilled a superb effort across the keeper and into the far bottom left corner of the net.
ICELAND: Cecilia Ran Runarsdottir, Hafrun Rakel Halldorsdottir (Elisa Vioarsdottir 79), Glodis Peria Viggosdottir, Ingibjorg Sigurdardottir (Andrea Ran Hauksdottir ht), Hallbera Guany Gisladottir, Gunnhildur Yrsa Jonsdottir (Karitas Tomasdottir 79), Alexandra Johannsdottir (Garun Arnardottir ht), Dagny Brynjarsdottir (Berglind Ros Agustsdottir 72), Sveindis Jane Jonsdottir (Agla Maria Albertsdottir 72), Berglind Bjorg Þorvaldsdóttir, Karolina Lea Vilhjalmsdottir.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Courtney Brosnan, Éabha O’Mahony (Roma McLaughlin 79), Louise Quinn, Megan Connolly, Diane Caldwell, Denise O’Sullivan, Katie McCabe, Amber Barrett (Jessica Ziu 62), Heather Payne, Claire O’Riordan, Jamie Finn.
Referee: Kirsty Dowie (England).