Republic of Ireland Women watched by record crowd of over 35,000

Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland - UEFA Women's Nations League
Lucy Quinn of Republic of Ireland celebrates after scoring the first goal. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Republic of Ireland began their UEFA Women’s Nations League campaign with victory over Northern Ireland in front of 35,944 at the Arriva Stadium.

The Republic’s Caitlin Hayes on her debut forced Shannon Turner into a sharp save, before the home side went ahead on the half-hour mark.

Following a corner, the ball came out to Lucy Quinn, whose shot was deflected past the keeper and into the back of the net.

Lucy Quinn twice went close to doubling her first-half tally, one effort just clearing the bar and dropping onto the roof of the net, a more threatening effort having to be cleared off the line by Sarah McFadden.

Early in the second half, another goal-line clearance denied Lucy Quinn when she put the ball through Turner’s legs, only for Demi Vance to despatch it to safety.

Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland - UEFA Women's Nations League
Kyra Carusa of Republic of Ireland scores their sides second goal. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The lead was doubled on the counter attack with 20 minutes to go, a defensive mix-up allowing Kyra Carusa to shoot into an empty net.

Lily Agg came off the bench and soon made it 3-0, her header from Katie McCabe’s corner hitting the inside of the post and crossing the line before Turner could catch it.

Group B1 continues on Tuesday 26 September, when Northern Ireland host Albania at Seaview (live on BBC iPlayer & BBC Sport website) and Republic of Ireland visit Hungary (live on RTE 2).

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