Raheny suffer heartbreak on their UEFA Women’s Champions League debut

RAHENY United suffered a disappointing loss to Hungarian outfit MTK Hungaria in their first game in the UEFA Women’s Champions League today at Seaview, Belfast.

The Bus Éireann Women’s National League champions twice bounced back from behind to equalise but ultimately lost due to a 68th minute winner from substitute Dóra Papp.

MTK took the lead in the 12th minute when Fanni Vágó converted from close range after United failed to clear a right wing cross.

Raheny showed character to bounce back and within three minutes they had levelled through a Katie McCabe cross-come-shot from the left that ended up drifting into the net on the far side.

Unfortunately the Hungarians regained the lead in the 39th minute when the Dubliners had a player off the pitch receiving treatment. The ball fell kindly in the box to Vágó and the striker was ruthless with her finish.

Once again the Irish champions showed mettle in their first appearance at this level. McCabe was the creator for the 52nd minute  equaliser with good left wing play before picking out Rebecca Creagh, who swept the ball home from 12 yards out.

Raheny then gifted the Hungarians the three points when a defender passed the ball straight to substitute Papp in the 69th minute and she burst forward to shoot home.

Pearl Slattery had a chance to claim a third equaliser but she headed narrowly wide from a Siobhan Killeen corner in the 80th minute.

“We were definitely more than a match for them. We had them rattled for a while,” said Raheny coach Casey McQuillan.

“Maybe it being our first game at this level was a weight on our shoulders so it took a while for us to get into the game.

“To come from behind twice showed a bit of character but I know there’s more in us. We’ll try to win the next two games and see what happens. We represented the league well and can be proud of ourselves.

“Noelle Murray, Caroline Thorpe, Rebecca Creagh and Seana Cooke all did very well overall.”

Raheny United: Niamh Reid-Burke, Ciara Grant, Caroline Thorpe, Shauna Newman, Seana Cooke, Rebecca Creagh (Kerry Ryan 66), Rachel Graham, Katie McCabe (Clare Shine 74), Siobhan Killeen, Noelle Murray (Mary Waldron 66), Pearl Slattery.

MTK: Réka Szőcs, Angéla Smuczer (Zsófia Tell 71), Henrietta Csiszár, Anita Pinczi, Réka Demeter, Fanni Vágó (Rita Méry 86), Zsuzsanna Szabó, Tímea Gál, Nóra Palkovics, Bernadett Zágor (Dóra Papp 57), Anita Pádár.

Fixtures

 

Thursday, August 8

UEFA Women’s Champions League Qualifying Round Group 3

Raheny United 2 MTK Hungaria 3, Seaview, Belfast (2.00pm).

Saturday, August 10

UEFA Women’s Champions League Qualifying Round Group 3

Raheny United v WFC Kharkiv, Seaview, Belfast (2.00pm).

Tuesday, August 13

UEFA Women’s Champions League Qualifying Round Group 3

Crusaders v Raheny United, Seaview, Belfast (5.00pm).

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