Denmark edge international friendly in Tallaght

By Daire Walsh

The Republic of Ireland senior women's side suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Denmark in an international soccer friendly at Tallaght Stadium this evening.

Nicoline Sørensen’s ninth-minute goal was enough to secure a win for the travelling Scandinavian outfit, but it was a worthwhile exercise nonetheless for Ireland, who face Belgium at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on Sunday.

PSIRL V Denmark 03

Ireland captain Katie McCabe from Kilnamanagh gathers possession for Ireland (Pic: Paddy Barrett)

Kilnamanagh native Katie McCabe was captaining the side on the night and was joined in the starting line-up by former Peamount United captain Louise Quinn.

While the current stars of the Women’s National League champions - Aine O’Gorman and Claire Walsh - were listed amongst the substitutes, Quinn heralded a quartet of former Peamount footballers in the Irish team alongside Denise O’Sullivan, Amber Barrett and Heather Payne.

Ireland were searching for a bright start to 2021 and initially put pressure on their Danish counterparts.

That was until a Sofie Svava cross from the left-wing slipped through a slew of bodies into the path of Everton’s Sørensen, whose low shot crept past Irish netminder Grace Moloney.

PSIRL V Denmark 02

Former Peamount player Louise Quinn clears her lines for Ireland in Tallaght Stadium tonight  (Pic: Paddy Barrett)

While much of Ireland’s approach work was crisp, it was the Danes who continued to generate the clearer goal-scoring opportunities.

Moloney tipped a powerful Signe Bruun strike over the crossbar and Diane Caldwell subsequently headed a delicate Nadia Nadim chip away from danger.

Facing into a 1-0 deficit, Ireland searched for an avenue back into the game on the restart.

They almost got it on 53 minutes, when a thunderous 35-yard drive by McCabe rebounded off the crossbar.

A Women’s Super League winner with Arsenal in 2019, McCabe was also perilously close to finding an equaliser on the third-quarter mark.

Shooting from a right-hand angle, her free-kick drifted marginally past the far post.

O’Gorman was later introduced on 72 minutes for her 106th senior international cap, taking over from Celtic’s Keeva Keenan on the right-flank.

Another replacement - Emily Whelan - hit the side-netting in stoppage-time, but Ireland fell just short at the end of an entertaining clash.

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