21 July 2010
UCC were beaten 6-3 today in their second game of the Womens European University Futsal Championships in Zagreb despite a much improved performance, showing skill, passion, pace and increased work rate.
UCC started brightly and after great play from Michelle Hourihan, Linda Douglas shot high to the net to put her side one nil up. UCC continued to press high up the pitch and had a number of chances saved by the inspired Croatian goalkeeper Grkovic from Douglas, Aisling Brennan and Gillian Cahill. However Rijeka had an outstanding player in Dusanka Juko who scored three goals in four minutes to turn the game in the Croations favour. Megan Morris made a number of outstanding saves throughout the half with one full length save drawing cheers from the IT Carlow mens squad who were supporting the girls again.
UCC dominated the rest of the half with Grkovic continuing to keep her side in the game with saves from Douglas, Cahill and Hourihan.
UCC came out for the second half inspired and scored early when Eimear Knighleys shot was saved and Alison Roche followed in to score. Morris continued her heroics for with four saves in a row but Juko got her fourth goal four minutes into the second half. UCC made it 4-3 when a well worked free kick between Cahill and Douglas, with the Waterford native getting her second goal. At 4-3 Brennan was desperately unlucky to tie the game when her shot hit the post and from the break Juko scored her fifth with just four minutes left on the clock. One minute later she got her sixth and the final goal of the game. Morris made an even better save than her first half tip over and UCC continued to attack with some great link play that deserved more but its unlikely they will play against a better player than Juko in this championship.
Head coach Greg Yelverton said after the game " I am very proud of the girls today, they worked so hard, and deserved something from the game, with 5 minutes left we were a goal down and had a lot of possession of the ball and even hit the post. The girls are really adapting to futsal and can be proud of their effort today. The work rate was superb and they never gave up. We are getting better with each game and the girls have more belief now so hopefully we can get a win on Friday".
UCC will play their next group game against Kocaeli University (Turkey) at 9.30 am on Friday 23rd July. Kocaeli have won both their group games.
UCC: Megan Morris, Gillian Cahill, Caitriona Nagle, Michelle Hourihan, Patrica Hickey, Linda Douglas (Capt), Aisling Brennan, Eimear Knightley, Alison Roche, Eimear Feerick. Head Coach Greg Yelverton, Assistant Coach Tomas Earls.