Sport Soccer

Sunday 22 September 2019

'Three points is all we wanted' - Ireland start Euro 2021 qualifiers with win over Montenegro

Ireland 2 Montenegro 0

Ireland captain Katie McCabe, right, celebrates after scoring her side's second goal from the penalty spot with team-mates Rianna Jarrett, centre, and Denise O'Sullivan, left in their UEFA Women's 2021 European Championships Group I qualifying win over Montenegro at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Ireland captain Katie McCabe, right, celebrates after scoring her side's second goal from the penalty spot with team-mates Rianna Jarrett, centre, and Denise O'Sullivan, left in their UEFA Women's 2021 European Championships Group I qualifying win over Montenegro at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

Player of the match Tyler Toland said the result was all that mattered after Ireland struggled to beat a limited Montenegro side in Tallaght stadium in their opening 2021 Euro Championship qualifier.

"Three points is all we wanted," said the Donegal midfielder who signed for Manchester City this summer and set Ireland on their way with a stunning sixth-minute Irish strike.

Ireland doubled their advantage in the 68th minute though a Katie McCabe penalty after Denise O'Sullivan was fouled.

"The manager said if I don’t shoot we don’t score and Katie scored a great penalty," said Toland.

Ireland's Tyler Toland of Republic of Ireland, second from right, celebrates with team-mates after opening the scoring in the UEFA Women's 2021 European Championships qualifying win over Montenegro at Tallaght Stadium. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Ireland's Tyler Toland of Republic of Ireland, second from right, celebrates with team-mates after opening the scoring in the UEFA Women's 2021 European Championships qualifying win over Montenegro at Tallaght Stadium. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

"I had another shot which I mis-hit but we got the result which is all that mattered and we will focus on the next game now.”

Interim boss Tom O’Connor was also pleased with his first win in caretaker charge but claims he is still in the dark about whether he will be given the job on a permanent basis.

Ireland face a much trickier tie against Ukraine next month.

"We set out our stall to attack and unfortunately we were let down in the final third. A little bit more cleverness and inventiveness and we could have scored a few more goals," said O'Connor.

"We had opportunities, the final ball and finishing let us down. Our goalie had only one save to make but we have to turn possession into goals.

"We made a change at half-time, we put on Heather Payne on the right and the tempo was increased. We needed to shoot a little quicker and we will need to improve.

"I hope to be in charge but you have to ask my employers. We kept a clean sheet and got the result that mattered."

Republic of Ireland: M Hourihan; C O'Riordan (H Payne HT), D Caldwell (C Walsh 77), L Quinn; J Gargan, N Fahey (M Connolly 81), T Toland, K McCabe; D O'Sullivan, R Jarrett.

Montenegro: I Cabarkapa; A Popovic, M Saranovic, T Djurkovic; J Pavicevic, S Bulatovic, D Ramcilovic; J Djokovic (J Karlicic 64), A Kuc (T Bojat 82), N Stanovic (J Vujadinovic 90).

Referee: C Campos (Portugal)

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