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Two first-half goals make it two from two for Ireland as they target 2019 World Cup

Katie McCabe and Denise O’Sullivan got the goals as Ireland beat Slovakia 2-0.

Ireland captain Katie McCabe was on the scoresheet today.
Ireland captain Katie McCabe was on the scoresheet today.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

GOALS FROM DENISE O’Sullivan and Katie McCabe made it two wins from two as Ireland’s impressive start to their 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign continues.

Colin Bell’s side beat backed up a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland last month, as they beat Slovakia on the same scoreline in Senec this evening.

The Girls in Greens opened their account with just 10 minutes on the clock, and dominated despite stern competition for much of the fixture.

Cork native O’Sullivan, who plays her cub football with North Carolina Courage in the States, slotted home with her left boot following a quick throw from Megan Campbell, with Katie McCabe crossing the ball.

After 32 minutes, Ireland had doubled their lead. This time it was McCabe, in her first year as captain, who found the back of the net.

Despite falling behind, Slovakia continued to fight hard for a response but the Ireland defence stood strong. As half-time neared, Patrícia Hmírová struck a free-kick, but Marie Hourihan dealt with it at ease between the posts.

There wasn’t much excitement in the second half, and in her first international start, Amber Barrett limped off causing further concern for Bell’s striker options — both Stephanie Roche and Áine O’Gorman were sidelined for today.

In her place, Ruesha Littlejohn took to the field, and earned a penalty, and a chance to put her side three up, with her first involvement.

Sophie Perry, who was pivotal throughout, squared the ball back to Littlejohn who was adjudged to be fouled in the area by Lucie Haršányová.

Republic of Ireland players celebrate their sides first goal The Ireland players celebrate scoring against Northern Ireland last time out. Source: Presseye/William Cherry/INPHO

Maria Korenčiová stepped up to pull off an impressive save and deny the Celtic striker from the spot however.

Slovakia continued their efforts to pull one back, but Ireland held on to sit in good stead in Group 3. Bell’s charges lie in second place, behind top seeds Norway, but they’ve played on three occasions.

Today’s win was crucial, as Ireland now face Euro 2017 champions Netherlands away next month, and Norway away at a later stage.

IRELAND: Hourihan, Campbell, Quinn, Caldwell, Scott, Fahey, O’Sullivan, Toland (McLaughin 90), McCabe, Kiernan (Perry 30), Barrett (Littlejohn 77).

Subs not used: McQuillan, Payne, Walsh, O’Riordan.

SLOVAKIA: Korenčiová, Haršányová, Bíróová, Šušolová, Šurnovská (Fabová 78), Vojteková, Hmírová, Šušková, Bartovičová, Mikolajová, Škorvánkvá (Lišková, 62).

Subs not used: El-Dahaibiová, Havranová, Košlabová, Maťavková, Horváthová.

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Emma Duffy

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