Sport Soccer

Tuesday 20 August 2019

'To totally outplay them is a great feat' - Ireland Colleges coach Dave Connell hails victory over Brazil

Ireland's Niamh Farrelly, Megan Lynch, Naoisha McAloon, Lauryn O’Callaghan and Eleanor Ryan Doyle celebrate after the 2019 World University Games Women's Soccer Pool C win over Brazil at the Stadio San Mauro, Casoria, Naples. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Ireland's Niamh Farrelly, Megan Lynch, Naoisha McAloon, Lauryn O’Callaghan and Eleanor Ryan Doyle celebrate after the 2019 World University Games Women's Soccer Pool C win over Brazil at the Stadio San Mauro, Casoria, Naples. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

John Hudson

Dave Connell gave his prospects of replacing Colin Bell as Republic of Ireland Senior Women’s team head coach a timely boost when he guided the Ireland women’s side to a shock 1-0 victory over the reigning champions Brazil in their opening group fixture at the World University Games in Naples.

Maynooth University student Lauren Kelly from Wexford Youths was the Irish hero with a 30 yard wonder strike 13 minutes from time that gave Connell’s side the perfect start to their campaign.

The Ireland head coach, who is also Republic of Ireland Women's Under-19 boss, admitted he would have been disappointed not to have claimed the win against Brazil after the performance the side had given.

"It was a brilliant performance for which the girls can take great credit. To come here and not only beat the reigning champions but totally outplay them is a great feat," he said.

"Technically we were the better team, tactically we were the better team and obviously we got the scoreline but we probably should have won by more.

Ireland Colleges head coach Dave Connell
Ireland Colleges head coach Dave Connell

"Megan Smyth-Lynch saw her long range effort from 30 yards strike the crossbar and bounce on the goal line, in fact some of the girls thought it had gone in.

"Then Eleanor Ryan Doyle had her header ruled out for offside but we were always well on top and eventually Lauren Kelly broke the deadlock with a fantastic goal," said Connell. 

It's a quick turnaround for Ireland who now face South Korea on Thursday (July 4) in their final fixture of this three team group with a place in the quarter finals for a top two finish very much within their grasp.
 
Women's Group C 

Thursday July 4 - South Korea v Ireland, Stadio San Francesco,Naples (kick-off 5.0pm Irish time).

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