France cut loose to overwhelm Ireland
Ireland Women 1, France Women 3,
Published 23/09/2011 | 05:00
IRELAND held out for an hour against France last night at Turner's Cross before conceding three times to their illustrious opponents.
Sue Ronan's side had coped admirably with the threat posed by the top seeds in their European Championship qualifying group, yet there was a degree of inevitability about the breakthrough from the visitors on 62 minutes.
Louisa Necib, one of the many representatives from Champions League champions Lyon in the French side, pierced the Irish defence with a well-taken finish.
Just as Ireland looked for a response, they were hit with a second eight minutes later through substitute Marie-Laure Delie.
Local heroine Denise O'Sullivan was brought on with 20 minutes remaining to ignite Ireland's attack, but the game was put beyond the hosts on 74 minutes when another substitute, Eugenie Le Sommer, rattled the net of Irish goalkeeper Emma Byrne.
Aine O'Gorman, back in the Irish starting line-up following suspension, gave the home faithful something to cheer about deep into stoppage-time with a deserved goal.
The Doncaster Rovers attacker sprinted down the left flank, cut inside onto her right foot and beat Celine Deville with a curling shot into the top corner.
With second spot guaranteeing a play-off shot at reaching the 2013 UEFA finals, victory in their next qualifier over Israel at Tallaght Stadium on October 22 is a must.
Ireland began their campaign last Saturday by beating Wales 2-0 in Newport.
IRELAND -- Byrne (Arsenal); De Burca (Boston Aztec ), Quinn (Peamount), Tracy (Arsenal), Campbell (Raheny United); Grant (Arsenal), Fahey (Arsenal), Curtin (Kilmallock); O'Gorman (Doncaster Belles), Fiona O'Sullivan (Pitea IF), Smyth (Amazon Grimstad). Subs: Denise O'Sullivan (Wilton) for F O'Sullivan (71), Russell (Peamount) for Curtin (75), Roche (Peamount United) for Campbell (85)
FRANCE -- Deville; Georges, Meilleroux, Soubeyrand, Franco; Bompastor, Abily, Lepailleur (Le Sommer h-t), Necib (Thomis 64); Bussaglia (Delie 34), Thiney.
REF -- S Ghisletta (SUI).