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The Republic of Ireland slipped to their second defeat in Group I after losing 1-0 away to Ukraine at the Obolon Arena.
An own goal from Aine O’Gorman gave the home team a lead that they did not give up despite Ireland registering 13 attempts on goal, dominating possession and playing the better football.
With three corners inside the opening 10 minutes, it was all about Ireland and Harriet Scott signalled their intent to take an early lead by shooting over from distance.
The visitors kept on playing and Katie McCabe hit the top of the crossbar with a free-kick. The constant waves of Irish pressure kept Ukraine inside their own half for the majority of the time.
Surprisingly, it was Ukraine who took the lead when O’Gorman found herself under pressure and attempted to play the ball back to goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan but it bypassed her into the net.
Ireland responded by earning a penalty on 32 minutes after Denise O’Sullivan was brought down. Captain McCabe stepped up but her effort crashed back off the crossbar.
Undeterred by their lack of luck, Vera Pauw’s team kept pressing in search of the goal that their positive play deserved. It almost came just before the interval when Rianna Jarrett met a pass from Heather Payne although the ball was cleared before it could cross the line.
It was all Ireland in the second period as O’Sullivan, Payne, Jarrett, McCabe and Louise Quinn all went close with chances. They just could not supply that finish that their play merited.
Ukraine hung on to collect the three points and deal Ireland’s qualifying hopes a blow with one game remaining, at home to Group leaders Germany, on December 1st.
Post-Match Reaction | Republic of Ireland WNT Manager Vera Pauw
“At half-time, we said that we have 45 minutes to get one goal so don’t rush and makes sure to keep your structure. In the first half, we completely dominated so the plan was the play the same way but time went ticking and there was hardly any time left to get that goal.
“We had a game-plan that we had planned for all of the different scenarios and we were handling the game well, albeit without scoring. I think everyone could see that we were the better team but the ball just would not go in for us.
“We know what we need against Germany so we will sit down and come up with a game-plan. We know how good they are and how difficult it will be against them, but we have to plan for that once we move past this game.”
Ukraine: Sanina; Filenko, Kravets, Shmatko, Pantsulaya (O Voronina 46, Petryk 70); Andrushchak, Khimich; Boychenko (Malakhova 90), Apanaschenko, Kozlova (Voronina 90); Kalinina (Kunina 46).
Republic of Ireland: Brosnan; O’Gorman, Caldwell, Quinn, Scott (Barrett 86); Connolly, O’Sullivan; Payne, Littlejohn, McCabe; Jarrett (Molloy 86).