Wednesday 13 December 2017

Brilliant Raheny shine to complete Euro progression

Photo: Piaras O Midheach / SPORTSFILE
Photo: Piaras O Midheach / SPORTSFILE

Raheny United have booked their place in the last 32 of the Champions League after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Maltese side Hibernians in Romania.

The top club side in Irish women's football came from behind to pick up the three points that completed a perfect qualifying group.

Raheny had already registered wins over Bulgarian and Romanian opposition in the round-robin series to put them in control going into their final encounter. After the shock of falling behind, they bounced back strongly with goals from Catherine Cronin and in-form Clare Shine ensuring the victory.

The Dubliners are now waiting to see what hand they are dealt when the draw takes place on August 22. Peamount United (2011/12) are the only other Irish side to have reached this stage.

Possible opponents include Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Frankfurt, Olympique Lyonnais and defending champions Vfl Wolfsburg.

"It's a great achievement and I don't think the girls actually realise the enormity of what they have done," said coach Casey McQuillan. "They have worked very hard to do this and they were determined to win today and finish on nine points.

"Hibernians defended very deep and scored from the only shot they had on goal. We got a little bit impatient when our pressure wasn't yielding goals but they stuck at it and got the win they deserved. I was delighted that we were able to give some of girls a game today because everybody has played their part."

Irish Independent

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