Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ireland 3-2 Zambia: Barrett at the double as Ireland kick off World Cup preparation in style

Ireland have beaten Zambia 3-2 at Tallaght Stadium to kick start their World Cup preparations with a win.

Amber Barrett was the hero as her two-goal cameo helped Ireland overturn a 1-0 half-time deficit.

The hosts started brightly and almost took the lead inside two minutes when Claire O’Riordan skied her close-range effort.

But Zambia settled and took control of the game. Capitalising on some loose Irish play, the African side hit Ireland on the break and stretched the defence no end.

When they took the lead is was fully deserved. It was a fortuitous goal mind, with Banda’s shot ricocheting off a couple of Irish players before crossing the line.

Ireland improved but struggled to create anything of note. Leanne Kirwan threatened in behind on a couple of occasions and when she finally found the back of the net, she fell foul of the offside flag.

A frustrating first half for the girls in green, but a much more positive start to the second as Amber Barrett levelled the score from the penalty spot.

And with 27 minutes to play, Claire O’Riordan completed the turnaround with a thumping header after a sensational Megan Connolly delivery.

A third goal for Ireland came shortly after when Barrett dinked a bouncing ball over the head of Zambian keeper Nali after a corner. A wonderful goal and a reminder of Barrett’s quality.

Zambia showed tremendous character and gave everything to try and claw their way back into the game.

Racheal Kundananji scored a brilliant goal to bring the visitors back into the game, but Ireland hung on to pick up the important win.

Vera Pauw will name her squad for the World Cup next week before games against France and Colombia.

The Coppper Queens will face Switzerland in Zurich before the final match against Germany.

Zambia will leave for New Zealand on June 7, 2023.

The Copper Queens are in the same group with Spain, Japan and Costa Rica.

Zambia: Hazel Nali; Margaret Belemu, Agness Musesa, Lushomo Mweemba Mweemba (Vast Phiri 67), Judith Soko; Susan Banda (Rhoda Chileshe 67), Grace Chanda, Evarine Katongo, Xiomara Mapepa (Ochumba Oseke 67); Barbra Banda, Racheal Kundananji.

Subs not used: Letisha Lungu, Chitete Munsaka, Esther Banda, Mary Mulenga, Mary Wilombe, Avell Chitundu, Hellen Mubanga, Maylan Mulenga, Comfort Selemani, Regina Chanda.

Booked: Evarine Katongo (48).

Referee: Caroline Lanssens (Belgium)
Attendance: 5,732 Player of the Match: Amber Barrett (Republic of Ireland

Irish Mirror

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1 Comment

  1. We played well though number 2 didn’t help matters she made so many stray passes and looked uncomfortable on the ball…
    But why did it take long for the coach to make changes and why only 3?

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