The Republic of Ireland women’s senior team suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Russia in their FIFA World Cup qualifier at Tallaght Stadium.
Two early goals from Ekaterina Sochneva and Ekaterina Pantyukhina put the Russians firmly in control and, although Fiona O’Sullivan pulled a goal back after 35 minutes, the visitors regained their grip on the game with a third goal just before half-time when Pantyukhina got her second of the night.
The introduction of Stephanie Roche midway through the first half certainly lifted the Irish performance and the Peamount United striker almost got them back into the game during the second period when her long-range effort came crashing off the crossbar.
The result consolidates Russia’s position in second place in Group 1, five points ahead of Ireland, and means Ireland will have to go looking for full points from next month’s doubt header at home to Croatia and away to Russia to stay in contention for play-off place.
Republic of Ireland: Byrne; De Burca, Quinn, Caldwell, Perry; Gorman (Roche 23), Smyth; O’Gorman (Killeen 70), D O’Sullivan, Russell (Littlejohn 88); F O’Sullivan.
Russia: Todua (Kochneva 23); Dmitrenko, Tsybutovich, Orlova, Medved; Sidorovskaya (Makarenko 85), Petrova; Terekhova, Morozova, Sochneva; Pantyukhina.
Referee: T Mitsi (Greece).