Women’s football is riding the crest of a wave at the moment, with the recent World Cup gaining record-breaking attendances at the games in France and TV ratings worldwide also lifting the profile of the Women’s game.
The World University games are currently taking place in Naples, Italy and the girls in green are currently flying the flag for the nation. In a remarkable tale, Dave Connell’s girls had only four training sessions together prior to embarking on the Italian adventure. Today they are in action in the beautiful town of Salerno against North Korea (DPR) in the semi-finals. Dave Connell’s side defeated Brazil, South Korea and China to reach this stage.
Their semi-final opponents are a North Korean side made up of women who all attend the University of Physical Education in Pyongyang. They have previously won the title three times at the University games. In this year event, they hammered South Africa 8-0, beaten Canada 4-1 and hosts Italy 4-1.
The game Kicked off at 4pm and the score is currently:
Ireland 0-5 DPR Korea (Wi 15&67mins, Ri 28mins, Son 61mins, Jon 83)
15mins: Wi Jong Sim puts North Korea ahead and Amanda McQuillan reacts well to parry the initial shot from Wi, but was powerless to prevent Wi from opening the scoring as she pounced on the rebound.
20mins: Ri Hey Jon cuts the Irish defence open, but Amanda McQuillan saves well from Hug Jon’s effort.
28mins: Ri Hey Jon puts the North Koreans two ahead with a powerful shot after a defence-splitting pass was threaded through from Kim. McQuillan gets a touch, but can’t prevent the goal.
Half-time: The experienced North Koreans looking much more composed on the ball, as they have created numerous chances during the first half. The Irish ladies will have it all to do in the second half.
46mins: We’re back underway in Salerno. Gemma McGuinness is on for Lauren Kelly.
61mins: It’s three, as Ri Yang Sim places a superb shot from the right-hand edge of the penalty area over McQuillan in the Irish goal.
63mins: Lauren Dwyer is replaced by Ciara McNamara as the Italian heat begins to tell.
67mins: Wi Jong Sim’s effort from the edge of the box takes a knick off the leg of Shauna Fox as she attempted the block, and the unfortunate deflection takes it past the stranded McQuillan.
68mins: The latest change sees Lauryn O’Callaghan enter the fray for Jessica Gargan.
76mins: Yellow card for Gemma McGuinness.
83mins: An unstoppable free kick for Jon So Yon is curled delightfully home into the top corner as the North Koreans show their undoubted superiority in this encounter.
89mins: Off the line! Sadhbh Doyle comes to the rescue to prevent a 6th Korean goal.
91mins: Finally a shot for the Irish fans to cheer as Gemma McGuinness tests the Korean keeper.
Full-time: The Democratic People’s Republic (DPR) will advance to face the winner of the second semi-final between Japan and Russia later today, while the Irish girls will regroup for the Bronze medal match.
The Irish side is as follows: