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Wexford Youths started their UEFA Women's Champions League qualifying round campaign with a 3-1 defeat against Albanian side Vllaznia.

It was a strong start from the Women's National League Champions who went ahead in the 19th minute through midfielder Edel Kennedy.

However, the Albanian Champions responded brilliantly and scored three goals before half-time. Hannah Dauzat scored the first just before the half-hour before Amanda Doyle gave Vllaznia the lead in the 40th minute. Minutes later, Megi Doci's long-range effort completed the scoring just before the break.

Youths created a number of chances in the second-half as Ireland international Rianna Jarrett went close late on but suffered defeat in their opening game as they prepare to face Lithuanian side Gintra on Saturday.

"It's a really bittersweet result," remarked manager Tom Elmes.

"We've played really well, we've dominated the ball and we've gone ahead deservedly, looking like we could go on and get a few more. But then, to see them score with their first effort was so disappointing and then we conceded again minutes later, all against the run of play.

"Then, their No.11, who we've highlighted before the game, gets the ball in space and puts it into the top corner. Once they scored the goals, they sat back and did what they needed to do to get a result.

"But look, we were good on the ball and the way we played was excellent at times. The experience of their team did show at times, six internationals in their side, but we created chances and maybe we need to be a bit more clinical.

"The attitude and effort of the girls was excellent however, and we'll need that going into the next game against Gintra. Gintra are a quality side, physically they're in great shape and we need to look where we can exploit them in certain areas ahead of Saturday's match."

Wexford Youths: Maeve Williams; Lynn Craven, Nicola Sinnott, Lauren Dwyer, Orlaith Conlon; Lauren Kelly, Kylie Murphy (C) (Aoife Slattery 80), Edel Kennedy (Blessing Kingsley 69); Aisling Frawley, Rianna Jarrett, Ciara Rossiter (McKenna Davidson 62).

UEFA Women's Champions League - Result
Wexford Youths 1-3 Vllaznia

UEFA Women's Champions League - Fixture
10/08 - Gintra v Wexford Youths, 4pm
13/08 - Birkirkara v Wexford Youths, 4pm

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