Author Topic: Republic Fall To Classy Italians  (Read 1341 times)

Offline David

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Republic Fall To Classy Italians
« on: May 31, 2007, 10:28:50 AM »
UEFA CHAMPIONSHIP
QUALIFYING GROUP 2
Republic of Ireland 1-2 Italy

The Republic of Ireland suffered their first defeat of the 2009 European Championship qualifying series, when Italy overcame Noel King’s side at Belfield in this Group Two tie, reports FAI.ie.

Ireland staged a late comeback after finding themselves two goals behind early in the second half. Olivia O’Toole reduced the deficit with her 50th international goal but Ireland couldn’t force the issue to pick up what would have been a valuable draw in their bid to reach their first-ever UEFA finals.

Ireland went into the match full with optimism after claming a victory over Hungary in their opening UEFA qualifier last month but came unstuck against a classy Italian side who rarely let the control of the contest slip from their grasp.

Italy looked dangerous on the attack from the early stages and broke the deadlock when Paliotti’s shot from the left side of the penalty area squirmed through the hands of Irish goalkeeper Emma Byrne and up into the net.

The Irish had the majority of possession for the most part of the opening 45 minutes but had failed to test Italy ‘keeper Marchitelli with any degree of regularity. Stephanie Curtis’ effort on nine minutes and Niamh Fahey’s long range free-kick were both on target but dealt with comfortably by the visiting net-minder.

Italy’s captain, Patrizia Panico, doubled their advantage eleven minutes after half-time with an exquisite chip over Byrne from 20 yards when the ball broke loose to her on the edge of the penalty area.

Laura Hislop made a telling impact as a substitute when, within two minutes of coming on for Sharon Boyle, she set up Ireland’s goal after 75 minutes. The Predators winger peeled off her marker on the left flank before delivering a pinpoint cross into the penalty area to allow Olivia O’Toole head back across goal an into the corner.

Ireland will have the chance to get their qualification ambitions back on track when they travel to play Romania on August 25th, followed by a home fixture against the same opposition on October 27th.

REP. IRELAND: Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Niamh Fahy (Salthill Devon), Susan Byrne (St. John’s University, NY), Alisha Moran (NY Athletic Club), Sharon Boyle (Raheny United), Elaine O’Connor (Long Island Fury), Marie Curtin (Hofstra University), Ciara Grant (Arsenal), Stephanie Curtis (Bristol Academy), Olivia O’Toole (Raheny United), Katie Taylor (Peamount United).
Subs: Michele O'Brien (Long Island Lady Riders) for O’Connor (64 mins), Laura Hislop (Predators) for Boyle (73 mins), Sonya Hughes (Franklin Pierce) for Taylor (83 mins).

ITALY: Marchitelli, Gama, Cassanelli, Tuttini, Tona, Perelli, Gabbiadini, Barbierato, Panico (captain), Zorri, Paliotti.
Subs: Domenichetti and Fuselli for Gabbiadini and Paliotti (both 86 mins). D’Adda for Barbierato (91 mins)

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