19 July 2010
UCC womens futsal team were beaten 10-2 in their opening game today in FPE, Zagreb by the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences.
The Norwegians were quick starters and UCC found themselves three goals down inside the opening nine minutes with some impressive play from Anneland and Jokstad who ended the game with a hat-trick. UCC begun to find a way into the game however and were foiled by excellent goalkeeping on a number of occasions while Linda Douglas hit the crossbar and post. After 15 minutes UCC got the goal their play deserved when Alison Roche attacked on the left passed to Eimear Knightley who laid off to Douglas to score a well worked goal. UCC continued to create chances in what was their best spell of the game, missing six opportunities in five minutes before having a goal by Michelle Hourihan harshly disallowed from a free kick. Norway punished the Cork girls again with two late first half goals to go in a half time 6-1 up.
The humidity took effect on the players with UCC struggling to come to teams with the high temperatures, pace and power of their opponents. Two long range goals midway through the second half put the game out of sight for UCC but were rewarded when good play by Gillian Cahill was finished by the impressive Knightley. Douglas hit the post again and from the counter attack Norway scored to finish the game 10-2 winners.
Head Coach Greg Yelverton "I thought the girls took a while to adapt to the pace of the game as this competition is a step up in a level that they would be used to. We have only being playing futsal for the last year and a half and I was very proud of the girls effort even though the scoreline suggests that it was a one sided game we had our spells and its something we can work on throughout the next four games. Womens soccer in Norway is very strong and this could be seen by the physicality of the opposition today, however we can improve and the girls are confident they can give a better account of themselves in the next few games as they adjust to the step up in level and temperatures"
UCC will play their next group game against University of Rijeka (Croatia) at 9.30 am on Wednesday 21st July.
UCC: 1: Megan Morris, 2: Gillian Cahill, 3: Caitriona Nagle, 4: Michelle Hourihan, 6:Patrica Hickey, 7: Linda Douglas, 9: Aisling Brennan, 10: Eimear Knightley, 11: Alison Roche, Eimear Feerick. Head Coach Greg Yelverton, Assistant Coach Tomas Earls.