Dave Bell's side suffered a 5-0 defeat against England
Ireland suffered a heavy defeat today in their Group B opener of the UEFA Women’s Under-17s European Championship in the Czech Republic.
Some missed chances in the first half, coupled with England's strong scoring power consigned Ireland to a 5-0 defeat, which puts them under pressure to make the semi-finals of the tournament.
England hit their first goal inside the opening 10 minutes, but Ireland came agonisingly close to getting an equaliser when Isibeal Atkinson hit the woodwork from 25 yards out.
They had another chance to go level after half an hour, when Carla McManus got on the end of a corner, with her header just trailing wide of the target.
England hit two goals before half-time to leave Ireland with an uphill battle in the second half. They conceded another goal just after the resumption with the fifth goal coming in the 64th minute.
Speaking to the FAI website after the game, WU17s manager Dave Bell said the players have been left disappointed by the result, but stressed that they still have plenty to play for.
"We're really disappointed. The goals were really poor goals to concede from our perspective and I know we can do better than that.
"We should have gone ahead in the first-half and most definitely should have gone in at half-time level, but we’ve given them to soft goals right at the end of the first-half and the game is out of reach.
"To be fair, England dominated in the second-half but we had plenty of chances in the first-half and matched them up in many areas. We’ve got to look at why we conceded those goals ahead of the Norway game.
Ireland face Norway on Friday before taking on the Netherlands next Monday.
"The girls are obviously down at the moment after a defeat like that but they’ve shown an excellent mentality before and they’ve got to pick themselves back up to go again. Just because we lost the first game doesn’t mean we’re out of the competition by any means."