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Contrasting emotions for Irish stars in Germany as Barrett's winner not enough to save Köln from relegation

A win over Diane Caldwell’s SC Sand ultimately made no odds, while Claire O’Riordan’s MSV Duisburg survived the drop.

Amber Barrett after scoring this afternoon.
Amber Barrett after scoring this afternoon.
Image: Imago/PA Images

ON A DAY where Amber Barrett should have been the hero, there was immense disappointment for the Ireland striker and her FC Köln side as they were relegated to the second division in Germany.

Barrett scored the winning goal against SC Sand – for whom her Ireland team-mate Diane Caldwell plies her trade — in their final Frauen-Bundesliga game of the 2020 season, but it wasn’t enough to keep Köln in the top-tier.

With USV Jena rock-bottom of the table on four points and already relegated, the battle against the drop came right down to the wire. 

There was contrasting fortunes between Barrett and another Irish player in Claire O’Riordan, as her MSV Duisburg stayed up following a 2-0 win over USV Jena. 

With Köln, Duisburg and Leverkusen level on 17 points, that result ultimately sealed their fate and the former lost out on goal difference (-38, with Duisburg and Leverkusen -28 and -29 respectively.) 

imago-20200223 Diane Caldwell (left) and her SC Sand side finished eighth. Source: Imago/PA Images

claire-oriordan Claire O'Riordan (file pic). Source: Brian Reilly-Troy/INPHO

In the Köln-Sands clash, Donegal ace Barrett produced an inspiring individual display, coming close on several occasions before rattling the net and firing her side into a deserved 1-0 lead in the 63rd minute.

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She started and played 86 minutes, before making way for Anna Isabelle Linden as the hosts ran out winners. Dubliner Caldwell completed the 90 minutes for SC Sand, who finished the season eighth on the table — one place ahead, but eight points clear of Duisburg.

Limerick defender O’Riordan came on in the 72nd minute of Duisburg’s all-important away victory over Jena, with New Zealand international Meikayla Moore and Germany’s Alina Angerer scoring the goals there.


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Emma Duffy

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