Republic of Ireland U17s 0-0 Netherelands U17s
Republic of Ireland Women's U17's ended their European Championships adventure with a well-earned point against Group B winners the Netherlands.
Ireland had the better of the chances throughout the game but goalkeeper Rachael Kelly, who started her first game of the tournament, had to make a number of crucial saves in the final five minutes.
In difficult conditions with heavy rain and thunderstorms overhead, Ireland controlled much of the play in the first half and could have taken the lead in the 23rd minute.
Alannah McEvoy won the ball high up the pitch from a throw and found the 14-year old Jessica Ziu in space and her shot went narrowly past the right-hand post.
Ireland continued to put the Group B winners under pressure and had one of their best chances just after the half-hour.
From the left-sided corner, the ball dropped for Galway WFC defender Sadhbh Doyle who turned and fired towards goal, but her shot was well saved.
Dave Bell’s side continued to put the Netherlands under pressure as the pacey Carla McManus latched onto a long ball to run towards goal, but her goal-bound effort was well blocked in the 48th minute.
It’s been great exposure for the players and a major step on their international football journey
Despite deserving all three points, Ireland had to defend in the final 10 minutes and Shelbourne Ladies goalkeeper Rachael Kelly made a series of impressive saves to earn her side a point.
The squad will now travel home tomorrow having finished bottom of Group B, but should be proud of their performances having been the youngest team at the tournament.
Bell said: "I’m delighted for the players. They’ve been brilliant throughout the whole tournament and really improved so for them to earn a point against the group winners is great.
"We had a number of chances which could have seen us win the game but in the end, I think we should be happy with the point and Rachael (Kelly) has done brilliantly in goal to make sure we kept that clean sheet.
"It is a really young group, the youngest at the tournament, so the players will take on this experience and continue to improve. It’s been great exposure for the players and a major step on their international football journey."
Republic of Ireland: Rachael Kelly, Lauryn Grier, Sadhbh Doyle, Tyler Toland, Tiegan Ruddy (Capt), Alannah McEvoy, Megan Mackey, Heather Payne, Doireann Fahey, Carla McManus (Isibeal Atkinson 68’), Jessica Ziu.