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UEFA Women's Group 4 qualifier

Republic of Ireland            0-1      Scotland

Another one-nil home defeat for the Republic of Ireland women, this time against Scotland, has proven decisive in ending their prospects of reaching the 2013 European Championships.

Sue Ronan's Irish were already up against it, having slipped four points behind Scotland and Wales this week, but the widened gap now means they cannot secure a play-off into the finals.

The Scots bossed the first half, deservedly taking the lead through Rachel Corsie, but a spirited fight-back by the Irish was unlucky not to be rewarded with a goal.

Ireland goalkeeper Emma Byrne was called into action after just four minutes when Jane Ross broke clear on goal but the Arsenal stopper saved the low effort with her leg.

On 14 minutes, the same player marauded from the half-way line into a central area before cracking a shot which Byrne turned around the post.

The pressure was bound to tell and the opener arrived on 25 minutes. Kim Little swung in a corner to the far post where Jennifer Beattie connected with a header. Though her effort was pushed away by Gunners' team-mate Byrne, there was defender Rachel Corsie to finish from close-range.

Scotland should have extended the lead on the half hour from another set-piece yet the unmarked Rhonda Jones was inches away from connecting with Little's delivery.

The one-way traffic from the visitors continued, with Byrne relieved to see a curled effort by Jane Ross nine minutes before the break angle a yard wide with the Irish 'keeper well beaten.

Denise O'Sullivan was introduced at the break as Ireland looked to step it up and Niamh Fahey went close shortly after the break with a long-range shot which was saved by goalkeeper Gemma Fay.

There was more to come on 57 minutes as the Scottish rearguard retreated under a deep cross by Sophie Perry towards Áine O'Gorman at the far post only for Jones to avert the danger.

The Irish still lacked the clinical edge of their opponents in the final third and, apart from Fahey's rushed shot which skied over and another off-target effort by substitute Stephanie Roche, there were scant clearcut chances to equalise.

 

REP OF IRELAND: E. Byrne (Arsenal); M. De Burca (Amazon Grimstad FK), L. Quinn (Peamount United), Y. Tracy (Arsenal), S. Perry (Chelsea); N. Fahey (Arsenal) C. Grant (Arsenal), R. Littlejohn (Liverpool); JA Russell (Doncaster Belles), A. O'Gorman (Doncaster Belles), S. Smyth (Amazon Grimstad FK).

Subs: D. O'Sullivan (Cork) for Littlejohn (h/t), F. O'Sullivan (ASJ Soyaux) for Smyth (78 mins), S. Roche (Peamount United) for Russell (81 mins)

SCOTLAND: G. Fay (Celtic); R. Jones (Celtic), R. Corsie (Glasgow City), I. Dieke (Vittsjo GIK), R. Small (Forfar Farmington); K. Little (Arsenal), J. Love (Glasgow City), M. Snedden (Celtic), H. Lauder (Aland United); J. Ross (Glasgow City), J. Beattie (Arsenal).

Subs: L. Evans (Glasgow City) for Lauder (67 mins), L. Ross (Glasgow City) for Beattie (74 mins).

REFEREE: T. Albo (Romania).

ATT: 827. 

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