Rep of Ireland 2 Germany 3
European Champions Germany left Tallaght Stadium relieved on Saturday after they needed a last-minute winner to beat the Republic of Ireland in their World Cup qualifier.
Sue Ronan's Ireland led at the break through a Louise Quinn header but a penalty from Simone Laudehr and controversial goal by Lena Lotzen put the Germans ahead. Substitute Stephanie Roche looked to have earned a deserved point for Ireland by making it 2-2 in the 88th minute but Melanie Leupolz nicked a winner two minutes later.
Germany scored 40 and conceded none in winning their opening five games in this World Cup campaign. Little more than damage-limitation was expected from Ireland.
However, they stunned their visitors by going ahead after just two minutes. One of Megan Campbell’s hurtling long throws caught Germany off-guard, allowing Quinn to glance her header past reigning Ballon D’Or winner Nadine Angerer.
Ireland looked comfortable until the 65th minute when Quinn conceded a penalty for upending Anja Mittag. Up stepped Laudehr to find the top corner for the equaliser.
Germany, with five wins so far in the campaign, only nudged ahead six minutes from the end. Ireland goalkeeper Emma Byrne looked to have been fouled by Lotzen in the air but the Italian referee waved play on and let the player tap into an empty net.
Back came Ireland and another Campbell thrown-in resulted in Roche forcing the ball home from close-range.
Their joy was short-lived, however, as Leupolz’s cross from the right touch-line lofted all the way over the retreating Byrne’s head.
Ireland face Russia at home on May 7th.
IRELAND: Byrne; De Burca, Quinn, Campbell, Perry; Smyth (Grant 58), Gorman (Caldwell 86); Á O'Gorman, D O'Sullivan; JA Russell; F O'Sullivan. D Caldwell, K Duggan
GERMANY : Angerer; Schmidt; Krahn, Henning, Kemme (Lotzen 46); Kessler (Popp 70) Goeslling; Laudehr, Marozsán, Behringer (Leupolz 59); Mittag.
Referee: Ms C Vitulano (ITA)