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Ireland beaten by Iceland for the second time in four days

Vera Pauw’s side were made to pay, as they began to tire in the second half.

Ireland's Heather Payne with Karólína Lea Vilhjálmsdóttir of Iceland.
Ireland's Heather Payne with Karólína Lea Vilhjálmsdóttir of Iceland.
Image: Kristinn Magnusson/INPHO

IRELAND’S PLAYERS ended their season with a 2-0 loss away to Iceland this evening.

It was the second time that the sides had met in the space of a few days, with Vera Pauw’s team losing 3-2 on Friday.

Defensive issues were the primary concern in last week’s game, as Ireland went 3-0 down in the first half before a spirited showing after the break gave the scoreline a more respectable look from an Irish perspective.

This evening, Ireland produced a far more solid first-half showing, improving on last week’s disastrous opening 45, with the game scoreless at the break.

However, the visitors tired in the second half, and both goals were ultimately preventable from a defensive viewpoint.

Berglind Björg Þorvaldsdóttir gave the hosts the lead shortly after the break, finishing with aplomb as she capitalised on some slack marking and got in between two defenders.

Down the other end, Ireland struggled to create chances of note and ultimately were second best on the day, as they lacked a cutting edge in the final third.

Iceland’s victory was all but confirmed late on, as Karólína Lea Vilhjálmsdótti’s powerful strike evaded the dive of Courtney Brosnan in the Irish goal.

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While disappointed with the outcomes in both games, the Irish team will have gained invaluable experience against a side 17 places above them in the world rankings.

However, on the basis of the two matches, Pauw will know there is plenty of work to be done at both ends of the pitch.

They begin their World Cup qualifying campaign away to Georgia in September, before a big double-header against Sweden (home) and Finland (away) the following month.

Iceland: Rúnarsdóttir; Halldórsdóttir, Viggósdóttir, Gísladóttir; Vilhjálmsdóttir, Brynjarsdóttir (Ágústsdóttir 72), GY Jónsdóttir (Tómsdóttir 80), SJ Jónsdóttir (Albertsdóttir 72), Jóhannsdóttir (Hauksdóttir 46), Sigurðardóttir (Arnardóttir 46); Þorvaldsdóttir (Jensen 80).
 
Republic of Ireland: Brosnan; Finn, O’Riordan, Quinn, Caldwell, O’Mahony (McLaughlin 80); O’Sullivan, Connolly; Payne, Barrett (Ziu 62), McCabe.
 
Referee: Kirsty Dowie (England).

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