REPORT | Portugal WU16 3-1 Ireland WU16

REPORT | Portugal WU16 3-1 Ireland WU16

The Ireland Women's Under-16s fell to a 3-1 defeat to Portugal in their first game of the 2024 UEFA Development Tournament.

Played in the afternoon heat at the Estadio Venda Novas in Portugal, the opening game saw the Girls in Green impress in many aspects of their play.

The first goal arrived on 13 minutes when Laura Silva scored from the edge of the penalty area after goalkeeper Jenna Willoughby initially did well to save a shot from an attempted clearance fell to the Portuguese No. 9 to fire in.

Athlone Town attacker Maeve Wollmer had a chance to level matters on 35 minutes but her shot was off target. Then captain Ella Kelly chipped an effort wide just before half-time.

Head Coach Tom Elmes made four changes at the interval and two more seven minutes into the second period to freshen things up and provide game-time to players.

Portugal, though, extended their lead just past the hour mark when substitute Matilde Matos found the back of the net with an angled left-footed strike.

Ireland did pull one back on 86 minutes when Wollmer found space on the left wing and drilled a low shot across the goalkeeper into the far corner of the net.

The win for the home side was sealed on 89 minutes when Matilde Carvalho hooked the ball in from close range after reacting quickest to a flick on from an inswinging corner kick.

Next up for Ireland is a clash with Austria on Saturday before finishing up against France next Tuesday.

Ireland: Jenna Willoughby (Laura Fanning 52); Kate Jones (Abigail Bradshaw 46), Heather Loomes (Kaitlyn Delahunty 62), Chloe Wallace, Emma Gaughran (Aibhlinn Cotter 46); Sarah McCaffrey (Emma Mooney 62), Aoife Sheridan (Finley Newell 46); Madison McGuane (Aisling Meehan 46), Ella Kelly (Aoife Colbert-Martin 62), Maeve Wollmer; Anna Butler (Grace Ehinger 52).

2024 UEFA U16 Development Tournament
Thursday, May 16th: Portugal 3-1 Ireland
Saturday, May 18th | Austria vs. Ireland, Estadio Carla Sacramento, KO 11:00
Tuesday, May 21st: France v Ireland, Estadio de Medideira, KO 11:00