New Ireland head coach Vera Pauw was delighted with the winning start and praised her side's fighting spirit as they secured a vital 3-2 victory over Ukraine at Tallaght Stadium.

Ireland stormed into a 2-0 lead to take control of the match but then allowed Ukraine back into the match with the tie evenly poised at 2-2 at half-time.

The coach admitted that her side were nervous and afraid of giving the ball away at times and that the half-time break allowed her to re-organise the side and get them back to their initial game-plan, which resulted in the decisive goal early in the second period.

"It was absolutely amazing," Pauw told RTE Sport following the game. "We started the game really well and we had it under control.

"And then those goals…what a week of team-work can do."

Rianna Jarrett made the first for Katie McCabe before scoring the second from a corner and the Wexford Youths striker was singled out for high praise from the coach after the game.

"We did not believe that Rianna was capable of this but we believed in her and we trusted her.

"And she did not know she was capable of this herself.

"After the game, I said to her, 'did you know you could do that?'. And she said ‘no’.

But while Pauw was clearly revelling in her team's victory, she conceded that there was a lot of work to do if her side are to have a chance of reaching the tournament in England in 2021.

Pauw said that Ireland were lacking in composure for chunks of the game, which allowed Ukraine back into a contest that the Irish looked tobe in complete control of.

"When the pressure went up, the composure disappeared because in the end it was just long balls forward, and that was not the plan.," explained Pauw.

"They were probably so tense and afraid of giving the ball away under the pressure of Ukraine.

"But don’t underestimate the quality of the Ukraine strikers, they are very dangerous. They have beaten Sweden and their forwards brought us problems, putting pressure on us."

Mistakes cost Ireland two goals as first Marie Hourihan flapped at a straightforward ball into the box, before a mis-timed clearance from Megan Connolly led to the second.

Half-time could not come quick enough as Ireland struggled in the final stages of that first half, and Pauw spoke about how her side got back on track after the break.

The own goal which settled the game in Ireland's favour in the second half

"I calmed them down and we just repeated what we had done this week and we repeated the agreements we had made.

"And I think in the second half we began to dominate the play."

Pauw also gave credit to Hourihan who bounced back from the early mistake to make a vital save in the closing stages to ensure that Ireland held on for the win.

"People will see the mistake of the goalkeeper for the first goal, but you see the save at the end of the game to secure the win.

"Mistakes are part of the game and the fact that she could pick herself up at the end of the game was phenomenal."

The manager admitted that it was a case of hanging on in the final stages as she said that Ukraine changed to playing five up front as they went in search of an equaliser.

But Pauw said that the team had planned for such a scenario and dropped players deep, leaving Jarrett alone up front for the final stages of the game.

And Pauw was delighted that the team’s discipline essentially led to her side taking all three points to maintain their 100 per cent start to the campaign.

"If we were under pressure, we had planned to bring players back.

"And the discipline at the end was what brought the win. The fighting spirit of these players."