#WU17EURO Qual Rd: Republic of Ireland through with game to spare

Republic of Ireland U-17s celebrate
Republic of Ireland celebrate qualifying for UEFA Women’s U-17 Championship Elite Round stage. (Photo: fai.ie)

Back-to-back wins saw Republic of Ireland reach the UEFA Women’s U-17 Championship Elite Round with a game to spare.

Erin McLaughlin hit a 21-minute hat-trick as Ireland amassed 51 shots against Albania in a 10-0 victory on Tuesday. Keryanne Brown bagged a brace, with singles from Clare Shine, Aoife Horgan, Aoibheann Clancy, Kate Slevin and Rebecca Watkins.

Muireann Devaney scored after only 20 seconds against Lithuania on Friday, with an McLaughlin brace and a cheeky Ellen Molloy free-kick making it 4-0 at half-time. Clancy and Brown added one apiece for a 6-0 result, setting up a group decider against Greece on Monday in which the Irish only need a draw.

Speaking after the game, Head Coach James Scott told fai.ie: “It was a superb performance and we played some excellent football and I’m delighted to see us qualify for the Elite Round.

“At times it was a joy to watch and it was the type of football you love to see all Irish teams play – girls or boys.

“Lithuania aren’t a bad side, they have a goalkeeper and a centre forward that have played against Wexford Youths in the Champions League but we did everything right. We attacked and defended well and the girls were excellent.”

Coming Up….

Wales begin their group games in Denmark on 22 September, Northern Ireland and Scotland start against each other on 14 October, while first up for England a week later is Croatia in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

2018-19 UEFA Women’s U-17 Championship final