Sport Soccer

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Touchline suspension no hassle for King

NOEL KING has backed his Girls in Green to seal their World Cup quarter-final spot without him.

The Ireland U-17 manager will be forced to watch on from the stands at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Tobago tonight after he was sent from the dugout in Thursday's 1-0 win over Canada. King is expected to be in telephone contact with his assistant manager Harry Kenny throughout.

"I have thought many times of sitting in the stand and having an overview of the game. I'd like to think that I could influence the girls positively from the stand," he said.

"Harry will be there in the dugout anyway. He will be free to make comments to the girls and I'd encourage him to do so. We all know the requirements against Ghana and encouragement from the touchline will be important."

As for what's needed on the pitch for progress to the quarter-finals, a win would guarantee Ireland a last-eight spot either in first or second place -- depending on the outcome in the Brazil-Canada game.


A draw would do it for Ireland if the other Group D match ended in anything other than a higher-scoring tie. All four teams are tied on three points each, but Ireland head the group courtesy of goals scored and their disciplinary record.

Things could get complicated before the night is out, but on the pitch the Girls in Green are thinking of only one thing -- a win over Ghana.

"We've had two really tough games so far against Brazil and Canada," said Reading striker Stacie Donnelly. "But we were ready for that after playing Germany and Spain in the European Championships. They were really tough too because they are world-class.

"Those were the four toughest games I've ever had to play, but hopefully we'll get to play even tougher games further on into this competition."

Full-back Megan Campbell, whose long throw-ins have become one of Ireland's key attacking weapons, was also hopeful of qualification.

"We're positive that we can get a result and hopefully go through to the quarter-finals," said the St Francis star. "We've been working on our game and trying to find ways of getting by Ghana. Getting to the top 16 in the world just blows you away, but the top eight would be brilliant."

Irish Independent

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