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Dublin: 16 °C Sunday 22 September, 2019

Wexford Youths claim victory in Champions League opener

Jessica Gleeson’s 35-yard strike was enough to earn the Irish club victory over Lithuanian side Gintra.

Jessica Gleeson Jessica Gleeson (pictured training with Ireland here) was the match-winner. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Gintra Universitetas 0-1 Wexford Youths

WEXFORD YOUTHS MADE a winning start to their Women’s Champions League qualifying group this afternoon.

The 2015 Women’s National League (WNL) champions, featuring in the competition for the first time in their history, faced Lithuanian outfit and top seeds Gintra Universitetas in Poland and picked up a 1-0 win thanks to Jessica Gleeson’s second half free-kick.

Claire O’Riordan had a couple of chances saved during the opening 45 minutes, while goalkeeper Mary Rose Kelly had to pull off a fine stop to keep the score at 0-0 on the stroke of half-time.

Youths were awarded a free-kick on 67 minutes after Carol Breen was brought down, and defender Gleeson stepped up to find the back of the net from 35 yards.

“It was a fantastic result,” coach Will Doyle told the FAI after the final whistle. “We did well but they were very good too. It was a 50-50 game but we got the breaks.

“The goal was a long distance strike and nobody got a touch on it so we were delighted it went in. We do look to make sure deliveries like that are at least on target so we’re very pleased that’s what happened for us.

“Mary Rose Kelly made some good saves. All across our back four were excellent and there were a lot of big performances.

We’re delighted we got the win. We would have settled for a draw but we’re delighted with the three points on a very warm day which was a test for our players.”

His team, now top of Group 7, face hosts Medyk Konin next on Thursday (5pm).

GINTRA: Kaselytė, Mikutaitė, Laetitia, Neverdauskaitė, Veličkaitė, Zubchyk, Alekperova, Akaffou, Nguessan, Elloh, Imanalijeva (Gailevičiūtė 84′).

WEXFORD YOUTHS: Kelly, Gleeson, Kennedy, Rossiter, Sinnott, Murphy (c) (Fahy 62′), Hansberry, Frawley (Wall 83′), Douglas, O’Riordan (Cassin 78′), Breen.

Wexford Youths will play Champions League football for the first time today

‘We can top the group’ – Ireland defender Rossiter ready for Champions League debut

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Ben Blake

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