Three wins from three see Ireland's young guns coast into Euro 2019 Elite Round

The dream of reaching next summer’s finals in Scotland is well and truly alive.

Ireland U19 manager Dave Connell.
Ireland U19 manager Dave Connell.

IRELAND HAVE QUALIFIED for the Elite Round of the Uefa Women’s U19 Championships with three wins from three qualifiers. 

Dave Connell’s side added a 3-0 win against Ukraine in Marijampole, Lithuania today to victories over the Faroe Islands and Lituania last week.

They qualified for the next stage from Group 8 with a game to spare after beating the Faroe Islands 3-0 on Friday, securing their spot in next Spring’s Elite Round. 

And this afternoon, they made it three from three.

Defender Lucia Lobato gave Ireland the dream start earlier with just 12 minutes on the clock before Shelbourne striker Alannah McEvoy doubled the Girls in Green’s lead in the second half. 

Heather Payne and Simone Magill Ireland U19 and senior international Heather Payne (file pic). Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Tiegan Ruddy — who recently made the move to Connecticut on a collegiate scholarship — hit home in the 87th minute to seal the win and wrap up all three points, making it 13 goals scored overall and none conceded in the three matches.

Northern Ireland have also booked their spot in the Elite Round despite a 7-0 loss to Germany in Group 9 today. They progressed on goal difference by the finest of margins.

The top two sides in every group plus the best two third-placed teams now join Spain and France, who secured byes, in the Elite Round draw on 23 November.

Those fixtures are then scheduled from 1 to 9 April and 10 to 18 June, with seven countries joining hosts Scotland in the finals from 16 to 28 July 2019.

ireland Today's starting XI. Source: FAI.

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Emma Duffy

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