Irish Women win final Algarve Cup game: Republic of Ireland 2 – 1 Hungary
Áine O’Gorman and Julie-Ann Russell scored to ensure that the Republic of Ireland finished the Women’s Algarve Cup with a morale boosting win over Hungary. Ireland manager Sue Ronan used the four game tournament to try fresh talent ahead of the upcoming European Championship qualifier away to Scotland on 5th April.
Twenty-five players in total were used during the week and, in this play-off, Ireland did enough to defeat the side that inflicted an opening day loss on them seven days earlier.
Ireland opened the scoring on 18 minutes, taking a deserved lead when a searching cross from Julie-Ann Russell found O’Gorman at the back post who slid home from just inside the six-yard box.
Ireland continued to dominate and deservedly doubled their advantage eight minutes into the second half. The goal was similar in creation to the first, but this time roles were reversed with O’Gorman finding Russell who put the ball into an empty net.
Hungary made it a nervous last thirty minutes for the Irish when reducing the deficit with a long-range shot on the hour that Arsenal custodian Emma Byrne couldn’t keep out. The Irish held on until the final whistle though and the result should mean confidence is high going into April’s Euro qualifier.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: E. Byrne (Arsenal); S. Perry (Chelsea), L. Quinn (Peamount United), M. Campbell (Peamount United), Y. Tracy (Arsenal); A. O’Gorman (Peamount United), N. Fahey (Arsenal), M. Curtin (Cork); R. Littlejohn (Liverpool FC), E. Mullin (Castlebar Celtic), JA Russell (Doncaster Belles).
Substitutions: C. Grant (Arsenal) for Curtin (46 mins), S. Smyth (Amazon Grimstad FK) for Quinn (60 mins), F. O’Sullivan (Soyaux ASJ) for Mullin, O’Brien (Chicago Red Eleven) for Russell, D. O’Sullivan (Cork) for Littlejohn (all 65 mins).