Author Topic: Ireland face 'Azzuri'  (Read 1511 times)

Offline David

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Ireland face 'Azzuri'
« on: March 12, 2007, 01:42:53 PM »
The Republic of Ireland women's side face Italy in today's final Group C game in the Algarve Cup as Noel King's team aim to reach the 9th place play-off.

Manager, Noel King has named a total of seven changes to the team who were held to a creditable 1-1 draw against a highly rated Iceland outfit.

Raheny's Noelle Murray who is just 17 years old, makes her first start for the Irish senior team after a fine performance on her introduction against Iceland on Friday night. Michigan Phoenix goalkeeper, Sarah Peters gets the nod ahead of Arsenal's Emma Byrne in the Irish goal as King gets a glimpse of UEFA Championship opponents, Italy who have been drawn in Group 2 in the qualifiers as second seeds along with the Irish.

Italy are currently top of Group C in the Algarve Cup with two victories against Portugal and Iceland but the Republic of Ireland can still finish second in the group to contest the 9th place play-off with a victory over the Italians today.

Noel King said that this is an ideal opportunity for his side to test themselves against their UEFA Championships rivals, "Traditionally, Italian sides have always been strong and we expect no different today, Italy are ranked 13th in the world and they will be expecting a good result against us, our girls will be no pushovers and I'm expecting a massive performance here today."

"The game against Iceland was a massive opportunity for us to beat one of the top rated teams in the world, I think we let them off the hook as we had so many opportunities to finish off that game and put the result beyond Iceland, I know we will come out fighting today to make amends for that result," he added.

"One of the many positives points about this trip I feel, is the marvelous attitude and work rate by some of our younger players who have progressed through Susan Ronan's Under 19 team, Niamh (Fahey), Noelle (Murray), Diane (Caldwell) and Aine (O'Gorman) have been terrific, they have been given a massive opportunity by coming into the side and I cannot question their attitude and commitment to the team."

Algarve Cup 2007 - Group C Fixture
Republic of Ireland V Italy
Estadio Dr.Francisco Vieira - Silves
Kick-Off: 15.30 (Irish Time)

Republic of Ireland Team to Play Italy
Sarah Peters (Michigan Phoenix)
Sharon Boyle (Raheny United)
Marie Curtin (Hofstra University)
Diane Caldwell (Hofstra University)
Susan Byrne (St.Johns College)
Elaine O'Connor (Long Island Lady Riders)
Denise Thomas (Boston Renegades)
Michele O'Brien (Long Island Lady Riders
Aine O'Gorman (Stella Maris)
Noelle Murray (Raheny)
Laura Hislop (New Hampshire Phantoms)

Subs
Emma Byrne (Arsenal FC)
Yvonne Tracy (Arsenal FC)
Claire Scanlan (Bristol Academy FC)
Sonya Hughes (New Hampshire Franklin Pierce))
Niamh Fahey (Salthill Devon)
Alisha Moran (New York Athletic Club)
Olivia O'Toole (Raheny)
Ciara Grant (Arsenal FC)
Stephanie Curtis (Bristol Rovers)

http://www.a2zsoccer.com/index.cfm/loc/2-1/articleId/46001537-BF86-B275-0A5A7DDB761DA1FE.htm

Offline David

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Re: Ireland face 'Azzuri'
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2007, 03:19:42 PM »
Irish side suffer Italian loss

A battling Irish side were defeated 4-1 by Italy today in the Algarve Cup at the Estadio Dr.Francisco Vieira - Silves.

Noel King's Republic of Ireland women's side were defeated by a strong Italian side as they scored three goals in seven minutes after half time. The Irish put in a fantastic first half display, more than matching their Italian opponents on the field.

Irish defender, Susan Byrne scored a decisive header in the 35th minute to cancel out Panico's opener but the Italians came out stronger after half time and put three goals past Sarah Peters in the Irish goal to secure top place in Group C.

A full strength Italian side started very strongly and called Irish goalkeeper, Sarah Peters into the action early on as she palmed away a long range effort Italian captain, Panico with the rebounding ball cleared for a corner.

The Italians were ahead after 18 minutes when the imposing Italian captain intercepted a loose Irish ball in midfield; she found herself one on one with Peters in the Irish goal and slotted the ball past the keeper.

Panico, once again troubled the Irish defence with a long mazy run and ran through on Peters, the Irish keeper stood firm and denied the attacker from close range, Sharon Boyle was on hand to avert the danger.

The Irish were back in the game after 35 minutes, Diane Caldwell drifted in an inviting freekick into the Italian box and Irish Defender, Susan Byrne was on-hand to flick the ball over the despairing Italian goalkeeper.

The equalising goal spurred the Republic on and finished the half much stronger than the Italians, Noelle Murray, making her first start for the Irish, caused havoc on the left wing as her well-worked cross was deflected out to Marie Curtin who just shot over the bar.

The Italians wasted no time at the start of the second half, immediately, the Italian was again causing problems for the Irish defence, Panico's powerful shot slammed off the post and luckily rebounded to the striker only for her effort to go tamely wide.

Peters was on-hand once again as Panico ran on to a clever through ball in the Irish Box, the Irish keeper was up to the challenge as the danger was cleared for a throw in.

The Irish defence worked tirelessly to keep the Italian attack at bay but eventually succumbed to that pressure when Italian substitute, Fuselli fired an unstoppable shot past Peters, off the under side of the crossbar, off the line and into the roof of the net.

Four minutes later, Italy made it 3-1, Panico drifted in a pin-point cross to Fuselli at the back post and her well placed header gave Peters no chance in the Irish goal.

Italy wrapped up the scoring in the 65th minute, Sara Gama made a bursting run through the Irish defence and her powerful strike was put beyond the reach of the out-stretching Peters.

Irish manager, Noel King was quite happy with his teams performance against Italy today, "I thought the girls worked really hard on the pitch, Italy are one of the top sides in the world and to push a team like that for a large period of the game takes a lot of effort and hard work, we more than matched the Italians throughout the game but for an amazing seven minutes of football when they scored three unstoppable goals."

"On Wednesday, May 30th, we host Italy in Richmond in the UEFA Championships, we have seen what they can do and I'm looking forward to our girls pushing them all the way, which I am sure they are more than capable of," he added.

The Republic of Ireland will now play in the 11th place play-off on Wednesday March 14th at 10.00 am and will be used as key preparation for Noel King's side before the UEFA Championships Qualifier against Hungary on April 1st.

Republic of Ireland
Sarah Peters (Michigan Phoenix)
Sharon Boyle (Raheny United)
Marie Curtin (Hofstra University)
Diane Caldwell (Hofstra University)
Susan Byrne (St.Johns College)
Elaine O'Connor (Long Island Lady Riders)
Denise Thomas (Boston Renegades)
Michele O'Brien (Long Island Lady Riders
Aine O'Gorman (Stella Maris)
Noelle Murray (Raheny)
Laura Hislop (New Hampshire Phantoms)

Subs
Emma Byrne (Arsenal FC)
Yvonne Tracy (Arsenal FC)
Claire Scanlan (Bristol Academy FC) on for O'Connor, 82 Mins
Sonya Hughes (New Hampshire Franklin Pierce))
Niamh Fahey (Salthill Devon)
Alisha Moran (New York Athletic Club)
Olivia O'Toole (Raheny)
Ciara Grant (Arsenal FC)
Stephanie Curtis (Bristol Rovers)

Venue: Estadio Dr.Francisco Vieira - Silves

http://www.a2zsoccer.com/index.cfm/loc/2-1/articleId/4B5B7944-D153-6957-63BF0D0EBDBB40B9.htm