Friday 23 March 2018

Ronan relief as Ireland keep Euro tilt on track

Ireland 2, Israel 0, Women's European C'ship qualifier

IRELAND manager Sue Ronan admitted she was worried that her charges took so long to see off Israel at Tallaght Stadium on Saturday.

The approach by the visitors to keep their 10 outfield players behind the ball throughout almost yielded their first point of the campaign from three matches until Denise O'Sullivan broke their resistance with a 74th-minute opener.

Ireland captain Ciara Grant swept home a second with three minutes remaining.

Victory was a must to keep Ireland's qualification tilt for the 2013 finals in Sweden on course. They now occupy second place in the group, three points behind top seeds France, with their remaining seven qualifiers to come next year.

"I said to the players beforehand that an 89th-minute winner would do," explained Ronan after Saturday's victory.

"It took us at least a half an hour to get into our style, but we found it very difficult to break Israel down.

"Perhaps in the past, for both women's and men's Irish teams, points would have been dropped. However, we kept passing the ball around and the chances eventually came."

Seventeen-year-old O'Sullivan, a star of Ireland's U-17 World Cup campaign last year, connected with a Grace Murray cross to volley in the opener.

A more relaxed Ireland began to expose Israel's defensive frailties in the latter stages and substitute Dora Gorman crossed for Grant to make it 2-0 on 87 minutes.

IRELAND -- Byrne (Arsenal); Curtin (Kilmallock), Tracy (Arsenal), Campbell (Raheny United), Murray (Peamount United); Roche (Peamount United), Fahey (Arsenal), Grant (Arsenal); O'Sullivan (Wilton United), O'Sullivan (Pitea IF), O'Gorman (Peamount United). Subs: Quinn (Peamount United) for Campbell (33), Russell (Peamount United) for Roche (73 ), Gorman (Raheny United FC/UCD) for Curtin (86).

ISRAEL -- Shamir; Berqui, Ravtis, Redman, Fridman; Lavi, Israel, Shino, Shenar; Tavil, Erez. Subs: Sade for Shenar (57), Stein for Israel (68), Shmailov for Shino (89).

REF -- P Chuda (SVK).

Boateng hat-trick

inspires Milan rally

A SECOND-HALF hat-trick from substitute Kevin Prince Boateng inspired AC Milan to a thrilling 4-3 comeback victory in Lecce yesterday

Guillermo Giacomazzi, Massimo Oddo and Carlos Grossmuller established a 3-0 lead for the home side by half-time, but Boateng sprang from the bench to score three goals in 14 minutes to bring Milan level before Mario Yepes added the winner.

Thiago Motta scored the winner for Inter who claimed only their second win of the season against Chievo, while Udinese went top of the table with a 3-0 win over Novara as Juventus were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Genoa and Napoli had to settle for a point at third-placed Cagliari.

Irish Independent

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