The Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team produced an impressive performance in a narrow 2-0 loss to Iceland in an international friendly. This was an altogether different start compared to the last game between the two teams four days previously with Ireland pressing high and not giving their hosts time to settle. In fact, it was Ireland who looked the more dangerous inside the opening 10 minutes with Megan Connolly firing a shot wide, Katie McCabe and Heather Payne providing width, and Denise O’Sullivan making breaking runs from midfield. Iceland, as expected, responded with a couple of half chances but brave defending – particularly by Louise Quinn – ensured that they could not find a way through. Goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan also was on full alert. On 31 minutes, Amber Barrett, who was lively thoughout, hooked a left-footed shot wide from just inside the penalty area. It was a positive sign of Ireland’s intent to shoot when within distance of the opposition’s goal. Iceland broke free five minutes later with Berglind Björg Þorvaldsdóttir but her shot was well dealt with by Brosnan. Up the other end, Connolly forced a save from goalkeeper Rúnarsdóttir with a shot from distance. Early in the second half, Iceland almost broke the deadlock when Sveindís Jane Jónsdóttir got free inside the area but Brosnan put her off before Diane Caldwell charged down a shot. When the goal did come for the hosts it was more through poor Irish defending as Þorvaldsdóttir pounced inside the area to poke the ball past Brosnan after breaking free from her marker. Ireland tried to find a way back into the game and substitute Jessica Ziu added a lot of speed but a superb strike from Karólína Lea Vilhjálmsdóttir then ended the contest to secure the win for Iceland.
Next up for Ireland is the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifiers, starting in September away to Georgia.
Iceland: Rúnarsdóttir; Halldórsdóttir, Viggósdóttir, Gísladóttir; Vilhjálmsdóttir, Brynjarsdóttir (Ágústsdóttir 72), GY Jónsdóttir (Tómsdóttir 80), SJ Jónsdóttir (Albertsdóttir 72), Jóhannsdóttir (Hauksdóttir 46), Sigurðardóttir (Arnardóttir 46); Þorvaldsdóttir (Jensen 80).
Republic of Ireland: Brosnan; Finn, O’Riordan, Quinn, Caldwell, O’Mahony (McLaughlin 80); O’Sullivan, Connolly; Payne, Barrett (Ziu 62), McCabe.
Referee: Kirsty Dowie (England)