Wednesday 21 March 2018

Killeen Samba strike keeps spirits high ahead of Canada clash

u-17 Women's World Cup

Jamie Holland

AS WITH so many of her peers, Siobhan Killeen grew up kicking about with her pals, playing heads and volleys, three-and-in and the old favourite -- 'World Cup'.

Little did she know, as she'd argue with her mates over who'd 'bagsied' Brazil, that she would one day score against the Samba stars in the real deal in Trinidad and Tobago. But that she did, claiming the goal of her dreams on Monday night.

Racing onto Aileen Gilroy's cross, the Raheny United player unleashed a first-time drive low into the left-hand corner of the net from 20 yards to cancel out Glaucia's fourth-minute opener.

Killeen's recollection of her historic strike -- Ireland's first at a women's World Cup -- was still hazy two days after the event.

"I can't really remember it, to be honest," she said. "Even people at home have been saying 'what a goal'. But the only thing I can remember is turning around and seeing one of the girls running at me. I can remember the ball coming to me and I can remember the 'keeper going down. But the rest is a blur."

As for the occasion, which was ruined by Glaucia's winner three minutes after Killeen's strike, the Raheny flyer revelled in her appearance on the world stage.

"The start of the Brazil game was breathtaking. You're walking out onto the pitch and there are loads of banners and posters all around saying 'World Cup' on them," she said.

"Then there's the national anthems and the crowds -- it's the stuff you dream about when you are a kid and you are playing 'World Cup'.

"You are thinking, 'I'm going to be Spain or I'm going to be Brazil.' And suddenly we're playing Brazil in the World Cup! It was really amazing."

Aside from a few minor ankle sprains, picked up on the poor surface at the Larry Gomes Stadium, manager Noel King has no injury worries ahead of tonight's clash in Arima with Canada, who beat Ghana 1-0 in their opener.

A win for Ireland would put them right back into contention to claim one of the top two spots in their group and a place in the quarter-finals.

Goalkeeper Grace Moloney, who pulled off some spectacular saves against Brazil, expressed her confidence in the ability of King's Girls in Green to bounce back.

"I think we deserved at least a draw from the Brazil game," said the Reading net-minder. "But we'll take a lot of confidence from the game.

"Everyone expected Brazil to be a lot better than us going into the game, but we matched them, so we can match anyone.

"But we've got to leave the Brazil game behind us and focus on Canada and Ghana and getting out of the group."

Irish Independent

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