Author Topic: Algarve experience warms Ireland  (Read 1794 times)

Offline David

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Algarve experience warms Ireland
« on: March 15, 2007, 08:53:41 AM »
Republic of Ireland manager Noel King is in upbeat mood following the Algarve Cup as his team prepare to raise the curtain on UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™.

Penalties victory
Ireland welcome Hungary in the first fixture of the competition at Dublin's Richmond Park on 1 April in qualifying Group 2, as they both aim to earn a place in Finland in summer 2009. King’s side warmed up in the prestigious Portuguese tournament over the last week, and began with 1-1 draws against the hosts and Iceland before a 4-1 reverse against Italy in their last group fixture. That meant they would play off with Portugal for eleventh place and, after a 0-0 draw, Ireland goalkeeper Emma Byrne made two saves in the penalty shoot-out as her team won 5-4.

'Good performance'
King said: "It's always nice to get the win but to win with such a good performance against a strong and talented Portuguese side makes the victory all the sweeter. Overall I am delighted with our performance in the Algarve Cup this year, we had two creditable draws against Portugal and Iceland, both of which we should have won and then we battled incredibly hard against a class Italian team who went on to beat the world's No1 ranked team, Germany 1-0 in their play-off match while other Group C opponents, Iceland beat China comprehensively, reflecting the strength and competitive level of the Algarve Cup."

'Taken a lot'
He added: "I know the team have taken a lot from this opportunity and they are extremely looking forward to kicking-off their UEFA Championship campaign against Hungary." Ireland take on Italy again in their qualifying group, and also meet Romania and top seeds Sweden, who finished third in the Algarve Cup.