05 July 2013
IRELAND Women's Football team got off to a good start in group B of the World University Games this morning drawing 0-0 with holders China in scorching temperatures in Kazan, Russia.
Ireland lined up with nine senior internationals with Sara Lawlor captain. After some great early interplay in midfield, Julie Ann Russell played a through ball to Lawlor who rounded the keeper and was clearly fouled but the referee waved play on.
The Irish had most of the play in the first half with excellent combinations but just failed to find the killer last pass. Goalkeeper Eve Badana made an excellent save after 30 mins when it looked like China would take the lead from a quick counter-attack.
Ireland's Deirdre Doherty went close twice before half time, the first a header which was cleared off the line, the second a long range shot which was well saved.
The second half started with the midday sun shinning and temperatures rising but Ireland continued to dominate. Russell had a great chance which beat the keeper but was somehow cleared off the line and soon after Lawlor hit the post from a narrow angle.
Shaunagh Jackson replaced Lawlor after 60 mins and made an immediate impression, going close twice as Ireland searched for a winner.
In the end time ran out on an outstanding display of attacking football from Team Ireland who will now play Canada on Monday. Mexico beat the Canadians 3-2 in today's other group game.
Manager Sue Ronan said: 'The girls played really well today & we dominated the game for long periods. In the end it was probably 2 points lost rather than one gained, but to be fair before the game we would have been happy with a point against the team who won gold in the last games.
"The conditions were very tough with temps in the mid 30's, but thankfully apart from the obvious fatigue, we don't have any injury worries for our next game against Canada on Sunday.'
IRELAND: Eve Badana, Seana Cooke, Karen Duggan, Zoe Murphy, Sophie Perry, Ciara Grant, Dora Gorman, Julie Ann Russell, Deirdre Doherty, Aileen Gilroy, Sara Lawlor (capt). Subs: Siobhan Killeen (for Doherty 46), Shaunagh Jackson (for Lawlor 62), Catherine Cronin (for Gilroy 79), Lauren Murphy, Emma Hansberry, Jetta Berrill, Geraldine McLaughlin, Jessica Gleeson, Roisin McCafferty.
CHINA: Wang Danyang, Wang Shuang, Li Lingyi, Ding Xin, He Xiangnan, Wu Yifan, Zhan Huimin, Li Xiang, Zhang Jiexin, Wang Ting, Wang He. Subs: Lu Jia (for He 76mins), Gao Yan (for Zhang 17), Liu Bingyun (for Li 63).
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Footage of the game is available here. For photos visit www.inpho.ie