Girls In Green Shine In Aviva Debut, Secure Victory Over Northern Ireland

Girls In Green Shine In Aviva Debut, Secure Victory Over Northern Ireland
Jessica Gardiner
Jessica Gardiner

Dublin, 23 September - A day etched in Irish football history as the Republic of Ireland (ROI) played their first-ever match at the iconic Aviva Stadium.

The Girls in Green walked away champions after defeating Northern Ireland (NI) in their opening match of the UEFA Nations League.

The match kicked off with NI showing early dominance, but it didn't take long for ROI to find their rhythm, with Denise O'Sullivan bringing skillful danger in the midfield.

NI held a strong defence, with an impressive save in the box from defender Sarah McFadden.


A powerful staright shot from Lucy Quinn marked the Girls in Green's first ever goal scored in the Aviva Stadium.

Halftime saw the ROI lead with 1-0 on the scoreboard.


The second half kicked off with fierce enthusiasm from both teams, leading to two close attempts for ROI in 49th and 57th minute.

Rising soccer star Abbie Larkin came on shortly after, replacing striker Heather Payne.

Much intensity in the second half, two close attempts for ROI in 49th and 57th minute. The crowd welcomed rising star Abbie Larkin in the 59th minute, after she subbed on for Heather Payne.

Many more opportunies for ROI, but c ame short in the finishing. In the 70th minute, Kyra Carusa took advantage of a defensive mistake to double the lead for ROI.

Both teams brought on fresh legs, with Abbie Larkin, Lily Agg and Amber Barrett getting time on the pitch. Just minutes after stepping on the pitch, Lily Agg headed another ball into the net, putting 3-0 on the scoreboard for ROI.

Emily Wheelan and Izzy Atkinson were also able to step on the Aviva field, replacing striker Carusa and Diana Caldewell going into extra time of six minutes.

Speaking after the match, interim manager Aileen Gleeson expressed much pride for the team: This is where women's football belongs and we're really grateful for everyone who came out today."

"I think this is another step along the legacy and pushing this game forward. We're seeing younger players coming through and we want to be on the ball and develop those players more. The legacy today is increase participation and visibility and that's what we need to keep pushing forward."

Goal scoorer Lucy Quinn also explained playing in front of a 35 944 crowd - a new record attenedence for the Girls In Green: "It was the stuff you dream of...playing for your country in the Aviva in front of over 35 000. We wanted goals and we wanted a good performance and the delight you feel is incomparable."

Republic of Ireland
Courtney Brosnan (GK)
Louise Quinn
Caitlin Hayes
Megan Connolly
Diane Caldwell
Tyler Toland
Denise O'Sullivan
Katie McCabe (C)
Heather Payne
Lucy Quinn
Kyra Carusa

Grace Moloney (GK)
Megan Walsh (GK)
Claire O'Riordan
Chloe Mustaki
Amber Barrett
Lily Agg
Éabha O'Mahony
Jamie Finn
Abbie Larkin
Marissa Sheva
Emily Whelan
Izzy Atkinson

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