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Posted 6th May 2017, 06:30 in
Rep. of Ireland

Late Header Heartbreak For Ireland U-17s

Republic of Ireland U-17s suffered late heartbreak as their hopes of reaching the European Championship semi-finals ended.

A late header from Norway captain Rikke Bogetveit Nygard sealed a narrow defeat as Ireland wasted a number of good chances during the second-half at the Plzen City Stadium, says

The defeat leaves Ireland bottom of the group after defeats against England and Norway, with Ireland set to travel home after their final group game against Netherlands on Monday 8th May.

However, it could have been a different story if Ireland took their chances at the beginning of the second half. After a cagey first-half, Ireland dominated much of the second-half and should have took the lead through the brilliant Alannah McEvoy.

Returning captain Tiegan Ruddy found the pacey McEvoy with a 50-yard ball and after using her pace to get down the left side of the defence, McEvoy's left-footed goal-bound effort was blocked.

The chances kept coming as McEvoy won the ball on the right to cross for Mackey at the far post but her tame effort was well saved in the 54th minute.

With 20 minutes remaining, Ireland wasted another golden opportunity. This time, a left-sided corner was floated in and Ruddy header's was dropped by the keeper and Megan Mackey couldn't follow up.

Norway became stronger in the final stages of the game and were rewarded with a late winner as Nygard's header keeps Norway's hopes of qualification alive.

WU17s Head Coach Colin Bell said: "It was tough to see us lose the game. We had a game-plan and I thought we stuck to the game-plan really well.

"We said if we draw the game, that's not the end of the world as we'd still be in the melting pot for the final game against Netherlands but it wasn't to be.

"Unfortunately, the goal came a few minutes from the end and it puts us out of the tournament. I can only give the players great praise though, they've done everything of what we've asked of them and they should be proud of themselves."

Republic of Ireland U-17s: 1. Erica Turner (GK), 5. Sadhbh Doyle, 8. Tiegan Ruddy, 3. Lauryn Grier, 7. Aisling Spillane (2. Eabha O'Mahony 37 (15. Carla McManus 69)), 6. Tyler Toland, 12. Doireann Fahey (14. Orla Casey 62), 10. Megan Mackey, 18. Jessica Ziu, 9. Alannah McEvoy, 11. Heather Payne.

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