Sport Soccer

Friday 23 March 2018

Hope for future as Ireland go down fighting


Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ireland's women's team needed a win to keep their chances of qualifying for the 2011 World Cup alive but, despite defeat, their spirited fightback will fill manager Noel King with plenty of hope for future campaigns.

Perhaps it was the sight of the snow-capped Dublin mountains that helped, but the Swiss certainly made themselves at home at Richmond Park by racing into a 2-0 lead.

However Ireland came back strongly and were denied a deserved draw by the crossbar at the death.

Ramona Bachmann's 21st-minute through-ball caused havoc in the Irish defence and with goalkeeper Emma Byrne and her defenders distracted by Ana Marie Crnogorcevic, she played in Sandy Mandly to score.

The Swiss doubled their lead eight minutes after interval as Noemie Beney hooked Martina Moser's corner home.

But King's side recovered well, and could have been level before the hour mark. First Ciara Grant's back-heel brought them back into it after Yvonne Tracy had put the ball back into the six-yard box, and Stephanie Roche had a header cleared off the line a minute later.

Fiona O'Sullivan, Grant and Aine O'Gorman all tested Marisa Brunner, before Grant crashed a powerful injury-time free off the bar and the Swiss scrambled the resultant corner off the line as it proved not to be the hosts' night.

IRELAND -- Byrne; McDonnell, Fahey, Tracy, McCormack; O'Gorman, Grant, Hughes, O'Brien; Roche (Russell 66), O'Sullivan.

SWITZERLAND -- Brunner; Stein, Keller, Abbe, Graf; Moser, Beney, Dickenmann, Mandly (Meyer 84); Crnogorcevic (Mahmet 64), Bachmann (Kuster 90).

REF-- J Adamkova (Czech Republic).

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