mcquillan shootout heroics send ireland to the semis

08 July 2019

Team Ireland's Women's Football Team are through to the semi-finals of the 2019 FISU Summer Universiade after a 4-1 penalty shootout victory over China following a 0-0 stalemate after ninety minutes.

Goalkeeper Amanda McQuillan was the hero as she scored the first penalty and saved the third Chinese penalty from Ruonun Yin. Eleanor Ryan Doyle would step up and net the subsequent spot kick victory to send Ireland to their first semi-final of the Universiade since 2007 and only the second time the team has reached that stage. The one guarantee that the team will have is that they will play a match for a medal with the first three teams honoured.

Dave Connell made no changes to his lineup from the victories over Brazil and Korea and Ireland started off with plenty of possession as China set up deep in their own half for the opening forty-five minutes. There were very little opportunities for either team as Ireland struggled to break down the Chinese defence and the Asian side offering little on the counter attack.

The second half sprung to life early on when McQuillan was forced into action to make a smart save from Xi Xiong. Once the game settled back in, normal service resumed with China blocking any Irish attempt to break through the lines as Ireland enjoyed 73% possession. Jess Gargan almost broke the deadlock when her inswinging corner struck the near post and spun across goal. Eleanor Ryan Doyle would strike the crossbar with a header but the ball wouldn't bounce back for the TU Dublin striker and the ball was cleared. Ryan-Doyle would have the last chance of the game as she took a free kick on the edge of the box but it sailed over the bar.

Penalties ensued and McQuillan stepped up first and coolly netted. Yingying Yang would be the next taker for China but her spotkick would fail to meet the target and flew over the bar. Smyth-Lynch and Lynn Craven would convert their attempts either side of Shueyue Chen's successful penalty. Yin would be China's third taker and McQuillan stayed big and got across her line to block the attempt allowing Ryan-Doyle to go forward and set up a semi-final against either Italy or North Korea

Ireland: McQuillan, Dwyer, Fox, Doyle, Mustaki, Farrelly, Kelly (McGuinness 85), Gargan (Craven 87), Smyth-Lynch, Meaney, Ryan-Doyle.

Referee: Myriam Marcotte (Canada)

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