Heartbreak for Ireland as own...


Heartbreak for Ireland as own goal sinks Pauw's side in Ukraine

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The Republic of Ireland endured a crushing defeat in their European Championship qualifier away to Ukraine. 

Needing only a draw to secure a playoff for the 2022 finals, a tragic Aine O'Gorman own goal saw Vera Pauw's side beaten 1-0 in Kiev.

Ireland's final qualifier comes at home to the mighty Germany in December, and they likely need favours from elsewhere to maintain qualification hopes.

It had all started so brightly for the visitors, whose pressure from the start forced a series of corners in the early stages and had Ukraine on their heels.

A brilliant free-kick from Katie McCabe from all of 30-yards out clipped the top of Irina Sanina's crossbar and over for a goal-kick. It would be the last time McCabe and the woodwork would meet.

However, all that early hard work was undone on 25-minutes.

An attempted backpass from Aine O'Gorman under pressure caught goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan wide of her right-hand upright. The West Ham custodian scrambled to collect the ball, but instead saw it trickle over her line.

It was a lead Ukraine scarcely deserved, and Ireland reset about their job and almost levelled within seven minutes.

The lively Denise O'Sullivan was fouled inside the box by Lyubov Shmatko. The Ukrainian defender was already on a yellow card for the earlier foul that produced McCabe's free-kick, and she was exceptionally lucky not to see red.

Up stepped McCabe once again, and yet again she saw her high penalty effort hit the bar. It seemed like it was going to be one of those nights.

Ireland continued to mount almost all of the pressure in the second half, with the hosts' defence visibly shaken when confronted by any Riana Jarrett run.

Louise Quinn was left cursing as a late header sailed just over, and Ireland had to accept defeat.

Ukraine end the night just four-points behind Ireland, and they have games remaining away to Greece (on Tuesday) and at home to Montenegro (December 1).

Qualification is now out of Irish hands.

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Aine O'Gorman Denise O'Sullivan Euro 2022 Euro 2022 Qualifiers European Championship Ireland Katie Mccabe Republic Of Ireland Ukraine Vera Pauw WNT

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