Ireland’s Under-19 women reach elite phase of Euro qualifiers
Katie McCabe on target twice as Greece are beaten with ease
Katie McCabe scored twice for Ireland against Greece. Photograph:Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Republic of Ireland 3 Greece 1: The Republic of Ireland U19 women cruised into the elite phase of the Uefa European Championship qualifiers with a game to spare.
Just like in Saturday’s 7-0 thumping of Kazakhstan, it took Dave Connell’s girls until just after the mid-point of the first half to break down Greece at Tallaght Stadium.
Once they soared ahead, it was easy work for the Irish, who clinched one of the two berths on offer from the first phase Group Two. They will now face fellow qualifiers Denmark on Thursday at Tolka Park to determine which of the pair advance to next April’s elite phase as group winners.
Katie McCabe, watched by her brother Gary in his home venue, showed a cool head to grab the opener on 24 minutes. The Raheny United winger brushed off the challenge of Konstantina Pakou in the box before rounding the goalkeeper Anthi Papakonstantinou and tapping home.
Dominant Ireland doubled the lead from the penalty spot a minute before the break. Once again it was McCabe who supplied the finish after Clare Shine had earned the spot-kick for a foul she drew from Ioanna Chamalidou.
The impressive Shine was also involved in Ireland’s third on 67 minutes. The Cork native freed McCabe with a sublime pass and her cross was stroked home by Amy O’Connor.
Greece, who had barely mustered a shot on target all night, collected a consolation three minutes later when substitute Christina Papadopoulou broke free in the box to beat Jillian Maloney with a crisp drive.
REP OF IRELAND: J Maloney (University Georgia Bulldogs); Dwyer (Wexford), C Rossiter (Wexford), L C O’Connell (Wilton), C Mustaki (Peamount Utd); S Newman (Raheny United), S Carson (Hollyhill Celtic), A Frawley (Wexford); A O’Connor (Wilton), C Shine (Raheny United), K McCabe (Raheny United). Subs: E Cahill (Peamount Utd) for Rossiter (70 mins), G McGuiness (Greencastle FC) for Frawley (82 mins), C McNamara (Hollyhill Celtic
FC) for Carson (88 mins)
GREECE: A Papakonstantinou; T Kyriazi, MN Tragou, K Pakou, D Giannou; E Markou (S Pythoula 85), D Riga, G Sakellari (Papadopoulou 66), T Georgiou (E Katsarou 74), I Chamalidou; I Trifinopoulou.
Referee: Ivana Vlaic (BIH).