Oops, she did it again: Stephanie Roche nets another top goal

Roche nets her first goal of the year in a 2-1 win over World Cup finalists Costa Rica

Stephanie Roche and Niamh Reid Burke reflect on an exciting 2-1 for the Rep. of Ireland Women over Costa Rica Women in the Istria Cup. Video: FAI

It only took Stephanie Roche two touches this time to produce a goal that already looks like it could be in the shake-up for the best strike of 2015.

Roche netted her first goal of the year and her seventh for Ireland as the Republic's women's team completed their Istria Cup campaign with a 2-1 win over World Cup finalists Costa Rica in Croatia on Wednesday afternoon.

Did the woman who came second to Colombia's James Rodriguez for Fifa's Puskás Award think another super strike was on when she got the ball from team-mate Diane Cauldwell 25 metres out?

“Yes, well I gave Denise [O’Sullivan] a shout because I knew it was on my better foot and luckily enough she left it for me and I was able to get it on my foot and get off a shot.”


And it was some shot.

“We wanted to try and win this game. I suppose we’ve been unlucky and we haven’t finished our chances this week, so I was glad I got the opportunity to get the shot off,” said Roche after the game.

And it seemed to inspire the team. Megan Campbell netted nine minutes later. Job done.

Well, not quite.

Emma Byrne, Arsenal's towering goalkeeper, got taken off injured and no sooner than she was on the pitch, reserve goalkeeper Niamh Reid-Burke was called on to save a penalty. She did.

In a moment of confusion, Reid-Burke wasn't even sure a penalty had been awarded. It had - as Ireland manager Sue Ronan confirmed. No bother. She saved it anyway.

“It was the right height”, she guessed the right side and produced a fine save. “It was nice to come on after the last match against Slovakia and pull that out the bag,” said Reid-Burke.

Finishing the Istria Cup with a win is “important to all the players,” said Roche.

“It’s good to get a bit of confidence back. We didn’t play as well as we could for the whole tournament and this is a great win.”

“We controlled the game as we hadn’t done before and we got the goals off early,” said Roche

Ireland had dominated against Hungary and Slovakia, but had only drawn. A win was good way to end, said Ireland manager Sue Ronan. “I think the girls deserved that win for the way they have played this week.”

As for Roche, who is bound to the US to play for Texas-based Houston Dash in the US National Women Soccer League (NWSL), she might save the date for the next Puskas award in 2016.

Ooops, she might have done it again. Good job there was a camera there.

Anthea McTeirnan

Anthea McTeirnan

Anthea McTeirnan is an Irish Times journalist