Republic of Ireland 1-0 Slovakia
By Jamie Moore at Tallaght Stadium
The Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team got back on the pitch and back to winning football matches on Monday afternoon.
The girls in green beat Slovakia 1-0 win a friendly at Tallaght Stadium.
Stephanie Roche got the winner from the penalty spot two minutes after half-time.
This win came six days after a number of the squad refused to train and aired a number of problems with the FAI in public.
After hours of medication talks and an eventual agreement, the players returned to the pitch to allow Head Coach Colin Bell to manage the team for the first time on home soil.
The winning goal came after Megan Connolly was fouled by Stanislava Liskova as she was about to shoot, Roche stepped up to send goalkeeper Lucia El Dahabiova the wrong way and put her team ahead.
Ireland’s winning margin in front of 1,037 fans should have been more against a poor Slovakian team.
Denise O’Sullivan had two excellent chances five minutes before the break. Connolly’s brilliant pass sent her to through but both of O’Sullivan’s shots were well saved, she should have scored.
The girls in green could and probably should have taken the lead in the 16th minute after a good throw in routine.
Harriet Scott found the impressive Katie McCabe, but her low cross just evaded the foot of the sliding Aine O’Gorman inside the six yard box.
Diana Bartovicov, Patrica Hmirova and Maria Mikolajova all had efforts for Slovakia but didn’t troubled Emma Byrne in the Ireland goal.
Byrne’s replacement Marie Hourihan hardly had a shot to save in the second half.
McCabe twice, Roche and sub Claire O'Riordan could have made it a more comfortable few minutes for Ireland but Colin Bell will be very happy with their performance and result after a difficult week for everyone involved.
Ireland will face Iceland at home in June and then Scotland away in July before the World Cup qualifiers begin in September.
The draw takes place on April 25th.
Ireland – Emma Byrne (Marie Hourihan, 46); Sophie Perry, Diane Caldwell, Louise Quinn, Harriet Scott; Karen Duggan, Denise O’Sullivan, Megan Connolly (Julie-Ann Russell); Aine O’Gorman, Stephanie Roche (Ruesha Littlejohn, 88), Katie McCabe (Clarie O'Riordan, 90).