Rep of Ireland U17s 1-4 Iceland U17s
The dream of reaching the Women's Under-17 European Championships has ended for the Republic of Ireland has ended after 4-1 defeat to Iceland.
Having drawn with Slovakia and lost to Finland, James Scott's team needed to win in their final game and hope that Slovakia overcame Finland. Neither of those came through.
While Finland coasted to a 4-0 victory in the UCD Bowl, Iceland proved too strong for the hosts at Tallaght Stadium, and in the process topped Group A.
Scott's team started the game well with Katie McCarn setting up Lia O'Leary, but her shot was saved by the Icelandic goalkeeper.
In the fourth minute, Ireland won a free-kick in a dangerous position. Michaela Lawrence’s effort bounced out of the goalkeeper's hands and Abbie Larkin was there to pounce on the loose ball to give Ireland an early 1-0 lead.
The lead lasted just eight minutes. An Icelandic corner was cleared, but Eyrún Embla Hjartardóttir hit the rebound from outside the box and it flew into the net.
Ireland didn’t let the equaliser affect their game, Heidi Mackin and Larkin both had great chances soon after but just couldn’t convert.
After enterprising work again by O’Leary in the 22nd minute, she passed the ball through to Lawrence who hit the side netting with her effort. Ireland kept creeping closer.
Minutes later, Larkin released O’Leary on the left and her shot was pushed out to Larkin and her strike was blocked down.
On the stroke of half-time, Iceland took the lead through Emelía Óskarsdóttir after great individual skill. The second half began with Ireland looking for an equaliser.
A brilliant individual goal from Emelía Óskarsdóttir put Iceland 2-1 up against #IRLWU17 #rtesoccer pic.twitter.com/hp83CZxewM— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) March 29, 2022
Iceland did their best to frustrate the Girls in Green however, slowing down play at every opportunity.
The home side made all their substitutions before the 60th minute, with Claudia Keenan, Aobihe Fleming, Joy Ralph, Chloe Atkinson and Jodie Loughrey all called into action.
With 20 minutes remaining, Larkin, now playing in the No 10 role, had a great chance outside the box, but just struck it over the crossbar.
Soon after, Ralph had another good opportunity when she took it onto her left foot, but her strike was saved again.
In the 75th minute, Orlaith O’Mahony’s free-kick was saved and Iceland went on the counter attack. Iceland were through, but Keenan stopped them getting their third after a great save. Iceland duly got their third goal with 10 minutes left on the clock when Hrafnhildur Ása Halldórsdóttir found the back of the net.
Their fourth was added in extra time by Halldórsdóttir again to put a gloss on the scoreline.
Republic of Ireland: Lawless (Keenan 58); Russell, Thompson, Mackin (Fleming 45), O’Hanlon; O’Mahony, Kelly, Lawrence (Ralph 45); McCarn (Atkinson 58), Larkin (C), O’Leary (Loughrey 58).
Iceland: Birkisdóttir (c), Margrétardóttir, Gunnarsdóttir, Hjartardóttir, Helgadóttir; Kristinsdóttir, Gudmundsdóttir, Halldórsdóttir; Óskarsdóttir, Tryggvadóttir, Tryggvadóttir.
Referee: Zulema Gonzalez Gonzalez (Spain).