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Ireland record historic victory over Spain at U19 European championships
Raheny United’s Clare Shine scored the winner for Dave Connell’s side in Oslo.

Ireland 1-0 Spain 

CLARE SHINE SECURED a memorable victory as the Republic of Ireland beat Spain 1-0 on their UEFA Women’s European Championship debut in Oslo, Norway.

Any fear of nerves overtaking them on a first ever appearance at these finals was wiped out within seconds of the kick-off as Sarah Rowe unleashed a shot at goal.

It was a tame shot from the Mayo native but enough to signal Ireland’s intent and they quickly built on it with Raheny United duo Shine and Katie McCabe combining well.

On 10 minutes, the tricky pair almost got in for a goal when McCabe jinked her way past two defenders before cutting the ball back to her team-mate but Shine couldn’t connect.

Dave Connell’s team, set up in a 4-3-3 formation, dominated most of the play and stretched Spain regularly. But they exhaled a sigh of relief when Sonia Fraile’s overhead only struck the post.

Ireland responded by going close with Megan Connolly’s free-kick from 30 yards out whistling over the crossbar before Shine twice fired just off target to finish the first half on a high.

Upon returning for the second period, Shine again had Spain goalkeeper Sara Serrat sweating as she found her way beyond opposition defenders to drill a shot wide of the goal.

Persistence paid off for Ireland as they took the lead on 54 minutes when Rowe’s cross was hooked clear to Shine who controlled the ball before converting with a stinging shot.

Spain attempted to fight their way back into the game with Andrea Sanchez bringing the best out of keeper Brooke Dunne but they found it difficult thereafter to create chances.

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Connell’s troops showed excellent composure in the final stages to record a historic victory that sets them up for Friday’s Group B showdown with England before a final game against Sweden.

Republic of Ireland: Dunne; Wright, O’Connell, McCarthy, Mustaki; O’Connor, Dwyer, Connolly; McCabe, Shine (Carson 89), Rowe.

Spain: Serrat; Jimenez, Turmo, Murua, Garrote; Campo (Guijarro 59), Caldentey, Fraile; Redondo (Lopez 82), Garcia, Sanchez.

Referee: Karolina Radzik-Johan (Poland).

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