Brilliant 30-yard Lauren Kelly strike gives Ireland win over Brazil at University Games

Ireland produced a dominant performance to keep the reigning champions at bay.

Niamh Farrelly celebrates at the final whistle Niamh Farrelly celebrates at the final whistle. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

LAUREN KELLY’S SENSATIONAL late strike ensured Ireland Women got the best possible start to their 2019 World University Games campaign.

This 1-0 win over reigning champions Brazil in Napoli was no smash and grab. Kelly’s brilliant goal capped a comprehensive display that brought Ireland 70% of possession by the time the final whistle blew on a famous win.

Despite that sort of dominance, Dave Connell’s team still required a sharp save from Amanda McQuillan to keep out Mylena Pedrosa at the start of the second half.

By and large, it was Ireland who created the better chances with Megan Smyth-Lynch hitting the underside of the bar with a powerful 30-yard drive in the first half.

Minutes later, Smyth-Lynch supplied a cross for Eleanor Ryan-Doyle to nod into the net only for the assistant referee’s flag to chalk off the score.

It proved just a stay of execution for Brazil, however. With 14 minutes remaining Kelly won possession in Brazil’s third before the Monasterevin woman made room for a superb dipping shot towards the top corner.

Lauren Kelly scores a long range effort Kelly picks her target for the decisive goal. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Ireland will have to shake off the celebrations in short order, however, as they will face South Korea in their second and final Group C match tomorrow (kick-off 5pm Irish time).

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Ireland: McQuillan, Dwyer, Fox, Doyle, Mustaki, Farrelly, Kelly, Smyth-Lynch (O’Flaherty 73’), Gargan (O’Callaghan 87’), Ryan-Doyle, Meaney.

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