Ireland 0 – China 0 (Ireland win 4-1 on penalties)
After ninety minutes of football, Ireland and China could not be separated in the quarter-final of the Women’s Football at the World University Games, so it meant the drama of penalties would see Ireland advance with Amanda McQuillan the Irish goalkeeper scoring in the shoot out and also making a crucial save, as Eleanor Ryan-Doyle would score the winning penalty.
Ireland started the game with the same eleven that had victory of Brazil and South Korea in Group C and for long spells in the opening half, Ireland dominated the possession stakes but a very well set up China team were very hard to break down and limited Ireland to half chances from distance.
China had an early chance in the second half as Xi Xiong stung the palms of Amanda McQuillan. The game took a familiar pattern again from there with real chances coming to Ireland as Jessica Gargan hit the post with a corner and Eleanor Ryan-Doyle twice went close to breaking the deadlock.
In this competition the game goes straight to penalties and Ireland held their nerve as China showed their nerves. Amanda McQuillan fired home Ireland’s first penalty and it was advantage to the girls in green as Yingying Yang saw her spot kick fly over the bar. Megan Smyth-Lynch and Lynn Craven saw their penalties hit the back of the net, as Shueyue Chen kept China alive as she converted.
Ruonun Yin was up next for China and Amanda McQuillan guessed right and saved brilliantly to give Eleanor Ryan-Doyle the chance to seal a semi-final spot, with the TU Dublin striker converting low to the keeper’s right.
This is the second time ever that Ireland Women’s Football team have made the semi-final at a World University Games, with Dave Connell’s side now poised for a semi-final showdown with an impressive North Korea on Wednesday July 10th at 4pm in Stadio Arechi, Salerno.
Ireland: Amanda McQuillan, Lauren Dwyer, Shauna Fox, Sadhbh Doyle, Chloe Mustaki, Niamh Farrelly, Lauren Kelly (Gemma McGuinness 85), Jessica Gargan (Lynn Craven 87), Megan Smyth-Lynch, Aislinn Meaney, Eleanor Ryan-Doyle