The Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team suffered their first defeat in qualifying for the UEFA Women’s 2022 European Championships with a 3-0 loss away to Germany.
In what was a clash between the top two teams in Group I, the eight-times European champions displayed their quality by scoring three goals in the first half.
Marina Hegering, Dzenifer Marozsan and Lea Schuller each found the back of the net in spite of a strong showing from Vera Pauw’s side who matched their opponents for work ethic.
On eight minutes, Hegering found enough space to meet a corner from Marozsan and head in the opener. It was an early set-back for the visitors but they did not drop their heads.
Even though Germany dominated possession and continually pushed Ireland back inside their own half, there was no shortage of effort as their work on a defensive shape clearly showed.
Play was halted for a few minutes following an injury to Giulia Gwinn, but then Germany got two quick-fire goals with a superb strike from Marozsan and a volley from Schuller that went in off the post.
A superb save with her foot by goalkeeper Marie Hourihan denied Alexandra Popp and the attempts on goal increased for Germany but they had to work for every opportunity created.
Ireland had some flashes of good play, including a number of breakaways through Leanne Kiernan and Rianna Jarrett but the final pass ended hope of putting pressure on Germany’s goal.
In the second half, Ireland had a little more of the ball with Denise O’Sullivan and Ruesha Littlejohn showing some nice touches. But the hosts didn’t allow any gaps to appear in their lines.
The focus for Pauw will now turn to the October 23rd game away to Ukraine, who beat Montenegro 3-1 earlier in the week.
Germany: Frohms; Gwinn (Maier 35), Oberdorf, Hegering, Hendrich; Magull, Marozsan (Lohmann 79), Schuller; Leupolz (Dabritz 63), Huth, Popp.
Republic of Ireland: Hourihan; Caldwell, Quinn, Fahey, O’Gorman; Littlejohn, Connolly, O’Sullivan; McCabe, Jarrett, Kiernan (Payne 62).
Referee: Monika Mularczyk (Poland).