Ireland 1-0 Czech Republic

Katie Mullan's 21st-minute goal has Ireland on the brink of qualification for the 2023 European Championships as they made it two wins from two at the Sport Ireland Campus this week with a 1-0 success over the Czech Republic.

Top of the table with six points, qualification will be assured if they avoid defeat on Sunday (1pm) against a Turkey side ranked 33rd in the world.

Mullan struck with a powerful backhand shot and while her side had numerous other chances to make the game safer, that was enough to record the win.

Niamh Carey attempts to get her shot away as Czech Republic goalkeeper Barbora Cechakova closes in

Ireland were in control from start to finish with the Czechs unable to muster a shot on Ayeisha McFerran's goal.

Visiting keeper Barbora Chechakova produced some wonder saves before the goal, somehow denying Mullan from close range in the third minute with a sprawling block when the net beckoned.

The lively Deirdre Duke also went close while a rasping Mullan shot also hit the outside of the goal as the Czech goal led a charmed life.

Michelle Carey’s direct running was a constant source of pressure while Duke’s close-range deflection was tipped over by Cechakova from a Sarah McAuley baseline cross.

And the goal inevitably arrived when Róisín Upton’s long overhead ball was not dealt with as the lurking Mullan picked up the ball and fired home on her backhand.

Cechakova continued her heroics with a diving intervention to halt Niamh Carey’s run through on goal. The half closed with Ireland’s first penalty corner, Upton’s drag blocked by the Czech netminder.

The second half was a tighter affair, though the hosts continued in the ascendancy with the Czechs unable to mount a circle penetration of note.

Sarah Torrans went closest to doubling the score, her shot somehow saved by Chechakova’s instep in the 42nd minute.

Three more penalty corners came and went to no avail, but the points always looked assured and they march on to Sunday’s final challenge of this round-robin competition against Turkey.

Veronika Pribikova of Czech Republic in action against Caoimhe Perdue, left, and Sarah Hawkshaw of Ireland

"It feels good," Mullan said of the success. "It is only the second part of the job done but we have another big part of the work complete. Tomorrow is another big game and Turkey have some nifty players. A good performance today; we left a couple of goals out there but it was important to get the win."

The Turks, who lost 2-0 to Poland today, sit on one point beside the Czechs.

Mullan says the 33rd ranked Turks are not to be underestimated and are much improved since the sides last met in 2015 – a 13-0 victory for Ireland.

"The side we have seen the last few days is very different. They throw different things at you that we are not used to so we will suss them out and prepare for tomorrow’s game."

Ireland: A McFerran, S McAuley, M Carey, R Upton, S Hawkshaw, K Mullan, L Tice, N Carroll, C Perdue, D Duke, C Hamill Subs: N Carey, H McLoughlin, S Torrans, C Beggs, K McKee, E Curran

Czech Republic: B Cechakova, K Lacina, L Duchkova, V Pribikova, K Topinkova, T Mejzlikova, V Novakova, A Lehovcova, A Kolarova, N Babicka, E Merxbauerova Subs: K Basova, M Smidova, A Koziskova, A Vorlova, N Tlamsova, N Novakova