Katie McCabe scored the Irish women's goal
A brilliant individual goal deep into injury time by Katie McCabe gave the Republic of Ireland women’s team a deserved draw against tournament favourites Italy at the Cyprus Cup in Larnaca today.
Ireland had appeared destined for their fourth defeat in four games when Italy took the lead after 86 minutes through Marta Carissimi. The Italian bundled the ball home after Niamh Reid Burke had pulled off a brilliant save to keep out a powerful header from Luisa Pugnali who was then sent off in the 90th minute for a second yellow card.
The draw was no more than Ireland deserved as in a keenly contested game they created several good chances with Aine O'Gorman shooting just wide in the first half while in the second period Julie Ann Russell twice went close while Megan Connolly and McCabe had free-kicks parried by the Italian keeper.
The Irish did get the ball in the Italian net in the 54th minute when O'Gorman blasted home a low cross from Sophie Perry but the goal was disallowed for a dubious offside against Perry.
The Irish now face Hungary on Monday in Paralimni in their final Group A game. The Hungarians, who were beaten 2-0 in their opening game by Italy, lost 2-1 today against Austria.