IRELAND'S women will have to do it the hard way to reach the 2017 European Championships after suffering defeat to Finland last night at Tallaght Stadium.
The Finns - second seeds in the group - were helped on their way to securing the points through a rare howler by Ireland goalkeeper Emma Byrne on 13 minutes when she allowed
Emma Koivisto's deflected shot to spin over her head and into the net.
And the Irish were once again caught out 19 minutes from full-time when Linda Sallstrom was given time and space to power her header home from six yards out.
It had all started so brightly for Ireland.
Three minutes after Niamh Fahey went close with a ninth-minute effort by smashing over, Denise O'Sullivan was guilty of wasting a golden chance when put clear on goal and firing wide.
It would prove a costly miss as the visitors grabbed the opener within a minute.
IRELAND: E Byrne (Arsenal); M De Burca (Galway), M Campbell (Florida State University), L Quinn (Eskilstuna), S Perry (Brighton & Hove Albion); N Fahey (Chelsea), D Caldwell (Avaldsness); K McCabe (Shelbourne), D O'Sullivan (Glasgow City), JA Russell (UCD Waves); A O'Gorman (UCD Waves) Subs: R Littlejohn (Celtic) for Campbell (43), S Killeen (Shelbourne) for Russell (71), S Roche (Sunderland) for O'Gorman (72).