Monday 19 February 2018

Ireland slip to Swiss defeat

women's soccer

SWITZERLAND last night inflicted a narrow 1-0 defeat on Ireland in the final friendly before the Women's UEFA European Championship qualifiers begin next month.

Sue Ronan's side were the better team in the first half but conceded five minutes after the break, when Swiss sub Jehona Mehmeti volleyed home.

Ireland skipper Ciara Grant had come close to finding the opener on eight minutes when Stephanie Roche's free-kick found her unmarked eight yards out but the Arsenal midfielder headed wide.

The nearest Ireland came to equalising was 17 minutes from time when Fiona O'Sullivan teed up Niamh Fahey to shoot from the edge of the area, but her effort was batted away by 'keeper Marisa Brunner.

Ireland begin their quest to reach the 2013 finals on September 17, facing Wales in Newport before hosting France five days later at Turner's Cross.

Ireland -- Byrne (Arsenal); MT McDonnell (Chicago), Tracy (Arsenal), Quinn (Peamount Utd), Murray (Peamount Utd); Fahey (Arsenal), Grant (Arsenal), Roche (Peamount Utd); O'Gorman (Doncaster Belles), O'Sullivan (Pitea IF), Smyth (Amazon Grimstad). Subs: Russell (Peamount Utd) for Russell (46), Campbell (Raheny Utd) for Quinn (68), Curtin (Kilmallock) for Grant (69), S McDonnell (Chicago) for Roche (74), Waldron (St Catherine's) for Smyth (86).

Switzerland -- Brunner; Batschart, Abbe, Graf, Egli; Moser, Waelti, Zumbuehl, Crnogorcevic; Maendly, Meyer. Subs: Thalmann, M, Keller, Redmund, L Keller, Schwarz, Mehmeti, Kueffer.

Ref -- Rhona Daly.


LOUK SORENSEN joined Conor Niland in the second round of the US Open qualifying after sensationally dumping out Spain's Arnau Bruques-Davi at Flushing Meadows last night.

Because of a long injury lay-off, Sorensen's ranking has slipped to 614 and he only made the qualifying cut-off point for the final Grand Slam of the year due to his "protected ranking" of 281.

No 29 seed Bruques-Davi is placed at 157, but the Irish ace made light of the rankings disparity to power his way to a 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 win after an hour and 46 minutes.

Niland needed only 62 minutes to see off the Slovakia's Pavol Cervenak in a 6-1 6-4 rout.


Spain's reign as the world's No 1 ranked team has come to an end, with Holland replacing them at the top of the latest FIFA chart.

Having held the position for more than a year, a friendly loss to Italy sees Spain overtaken by Bert van Marwijk's side. Uruguay's Copa America success means they are now the top South American side in fifth, with Brazil dropping down to sixth. England move up to fourth. Ireland move up two places to 31st. Wales drop five places to 117th, with Haiti moving above them.

Irish Independent

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